Original Title: Gas Light A.K.A. Nun
Country: United States
Director: Chad Dossett
Release: 2017
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Language: English

Updated on 11.April.2020

Hello there! I’m dos Santos, welcome to Ulven Reviews.

Gas Light A.K.A. Nun is a mystery movie directed by Chad Dossett. A nun is in therapy to learn how to deal with the traumas of a car accident, but her quest for healing ends up leading to more trouble.

Gaslighting Definition

The term gaslight was originated in a 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton. In it, a husband dims the gas lights in his house to make his wife believe she is losing her mind. This play also was the inspiration for two film adaptations in 1940 and 1944.

In our current world, the term is used to name a type of psychological manipulation, in which the individual persuades one or more persons to doubt their own sanity for whatever reason.

Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph.D., in a Psychology Today article, points out that gaslighting:

is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed.”

Sarah DiGiulio, in an NBC News article, warns:

“[…] it’s important to be aware of the red flags that you (or someone you know) might be a victim — which is the first step to getting out of the abusive situation.”

I’ll leave the links of the articles I mentioned in the description box below, in case you want to read a little further into it.

Gas Light or Nun

Sister Gracie Rose (played by Julianna Robinson) is a nun traumatized after suffering a car accident that left her then-boyfriend in a wheelchair. The relationship ended, the two lost contact, lived in different cities, and Gracie became a Nun.

Every night she binds herself before sleeping because when she wakes up, something strange has happened in her home, making her think she is going insane. The occurrences included a basket that should be full of church donation money that appeared empty on her table.

The lonely nun is seeing a psychoanalyst, recommended by her friend Clementine (played by Kirsten Roeters), who’s also the doctor’s receptionist. The analyst is Dr. Ernest Hancock (played by William McNamara).

Gracie Rose (played by Julianna Robinson)

One day, Gracie receives an email from her ex, asking to see her in the neighboring town. Clementine, encourages her to go and do her the favor of getting a sprayer she has in a storehouse in that city.

The city where the meeting is supposed to take place is a pretty fucked up place, almost a ghost town with weird, rude people. Eventually, the woman finds the storage and the item she’s supposed to take back to Clementine but ends up stuck in the storehouse.

Let’s begin with the plot, but be warned, I’ll spoil it if that’s even possible.

A good portion of the movie after Gracie is closed inside the storehouse, consists in her exploring the place and screaming hello. At least, and I’m not exaggerating, 40 minutes of the movie is that: Gracie, going up and down shouting hello.

Now, let’s jump straight to the terrible twistS. Clementine and Dr. Hancock have an affair, they stole the church donation to run away together. They tried to make Gracie think it she was the one who took the money during a blackout.

The Doctor tries to force Gracie to confess in a tape recorder, but Clementine thinks their plan is going too far, so the Doc murders her. Gracie uses the moment to escape.

Clementine (Kirsten Roeters)

While escaping, Gracie sabotages the Doctor’s truck before running bare feet towards nothing. The sabotaged truck explodes, she lays down in the grass, and we think the nun is safe.

But that’s not the end. She wakes up in a hospital, the Doctor is now a priest and Clementine, a nun, they’re giving her the last rites. It implies everything she was going through was in her mind, and she was in the hospital since the accident.

But not so fast, there’s a third twist! During her exploration of the storehouse, she took a nap, so she wakes up from that nap as if nothing happened, it was all a dream.

I don’t know which end was the real one, I think they only made this mess of a conclusion to be ambiguous. It’s an awful gimmick that was done better too many times before.

Dr. Ernest Hancock (William McNamara) with stuffed animals in the background

Gaslight AKA Nun is devoid of anything that might resemble a feeling. They failed to make any of the characters have believable emotions and to make the movie evoke any reaction on the viewer, be it for the characters or responses like fear, excitement, joy, or curiosity.

The best character is Clementine, and mostly because of the lack of competition. She’s upbeat, shows a little bit of empathy towards the suffering nun, and that’s it. Still better than Gracie, that’s just annoying, especially after 40 minutes of hello.

The doctor is the worst character, and it’s clear he’s not a proper psychoanalyst. I don’t think the people who made the movie knows how psychoanalysis work, and it was probably an aspect of the film that was poorly researched.

In the first therapy scene, it’s only Gracie’s third session, but Dr. Hancock is pressuring her for results. It’s bizarre enough to squeeze a psychological result from a patient, but it’s even worse only three sessions in. Psychoanalysis is known for lasting decades of a person’s life, not three weeks.

Gracie (Julianna Robinson) taking a bath

Sigmund Freud, the founder of Psychoanalysis, wrote “Recommendations for Physicians on the Psycho-Analytic Method of Treatment” (1912). At that time, psychoanalysis was a very young practice, and there was a necessity to give some orientations to the doctors with interest in using such a technique.

Among other things, in the previously mentioned text, Freud says that the physician must guide the process according to the patient’s capability, not to the doctor’s desire. In other words, respect the subject’s psychic process, do not rush it.

The acting is surprisingly good for such a terrible film. The problem of the film and the characters have nothing to do with their acting, all the three major actors do a decent job.

The cinematography is also not all that bad. Most of the time, I liked the colors, framing, light, and all that with sets that make sense culminates in some very decent still shots.

But the camera work is awful, the shaky camera takes it to a whole new level of shit. Also, when the scene gets too dark is irritating, and there are lots of unnecessary extreme close-up of random shit.

There are some scenes that isolated didn’t bother me, but if you add them together, it seemed a little exploitative for my taste. There’s the scene of Gracie’s masturbation, her bath, and several of her legs, including almost down her dress.

The masturbation scene demonstrates she still thinks about her ex, and she struggles in suppressing her sexual urges to the point of breaking her celibacy vow. Yes, masturbation counts as breaking the vow.

The problem begins when you consider the other two instances where they show her body. The only thing I could see from the shower scene is that the convent must have a hell of a personal-trainer-nun because Gracie is FIT.

And the shots of her legs are insignificant by themselves, she was wearing a short dress to look sexy and beautiful but ended up in hard situations. Now, if you add these three instances, it just looks cheap and exploitative.

Another bizarre thing is that the film has a misleading alternative title (Nun) and poster. They’re trying to make it look like it’s the highly anticipated movie, The Nun, part of The Conjuring universe.

This poster I have on the wall beside me is one I only saw this week, it’s way better than that Nun atrocity, and it’s quite beautiful, to be honest. That should be the route since the beginning of the marketing for the movie.

It’s kinda sad, really. The exploitative instances, plus the misleading marketing, gave me the impression that they were willing to do any shameful thing to give the movie some notoriety.

This movie is atrocious from beginning to end. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt until the locked up in the storage part, but from then on, I knew it was going to be awful, and I was right. Because of the cast and crew, I’ll give Gaslight A.K.A. Nun 2 Moons, instead of 1.

That’s it for now. Don’t forget to never sleep in random places full of junk. Bye!

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