Original Title: Gas Light A.K.A. Nun
Country: United States
Director: Chad Dossett
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Many years after a traumatic accident, a Nun deals with struggles around her religiosity and mind, when someone from her past reemerges, forcing her to face what’s troubling her.
After a long, long time without any reviews, it’s time to get back.
Like I said in the previous review, back in January, my whole house (including my work space) would go through some floor renovations and it was supposed to take around two weeks.
Now, more than four months later, it’s pretty obvious that everything took more time than the expectations, and to be honest, it’s not even 100% done yet, just enough for me to get back reviewing.
So let’s do it!
One of my first reviews (the sixth to be exact) was the review of the first season of José Padilha’s series “The Mechanism”. Since that moment, the series was the title I rated the lowest, technically tied with “Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles”, but the Belgian movie is superior.
The review of “The Mechanism” was published in March 31, 2018, a lot of things happened since then in the Brazilian political and judicial scene, all of it involving the events depicted in “The Mechanism”.
I’m itching to talk about some of those things for a long time, but now is not the appropriate review for it. However, I will quickly mention Padilha’s deception with all this political turmoil.
The hero Judge Paulo Rigo (Otto Jr.) was inspired by the real life celebrity judge Sergio Moro, the judge in charge of the Car Wash Operation. Padilha admired Moro and even called him “Samurai Ronin” in one occasion.
The honest and self-proclaimed “apolitical” judge joining the immoral world of politics?! That alone must have disappointed José Padilha, but it was Moro’s Anti-crime Package that made Padilha break his silence.
The Anti-crime Package is a bill with many supposedly means to fight against crime. After the populist bill was presented, Padilha said the support he gave the Judge was a mistake and that his anti-crime bill is in favor of the paramilitary militias plaguing Rio de Janeiro.
Here’s Padilha’s original article, but it’s exclusive to subscribers. So here’s the same article republished by another website, in Portuguese. If you can’t read in Portuguese, here’s an article about Padilha’s article in English.
Like I said in “The Mechanism” review, I admire José Padilha’s work, I really liked the two “Elite Squad” movies and “Narcos” is one of my favorite series. “The Mechanism”, in my opinion was an honest mistake, and every professional have their ups and downs.
Seeing that the director assumed what, in his view, was a mistake, I admire him even more now, because I think is a nice gesture to review our own acts.
After all this Padilha-Talk, what does it have to do with the next review?!
It’s time for “The Mechanism” to lose the crown as “The Lowest of the Low”, it’s time for a new king to emerge to this ungrateful position, and “Gas Light” also known as “Nun” is the one.
This term has origin in a 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton. In the play, a husband dims the gas lights in his house to make his wife believe she is losing her mind. This play also was inspiration for two film adaptations in 1940 and 1944, maybe I can review them in the future.
Now the term is used to name a type of psychological manipulation, in which the individual persuades other or others to doubt their own sanity.
According to the website LonerWolf, “…a Gaslighter spins their negative, harmful or destructive words and actions in their favor, deflecting the blame for their abusive deeds and pointing the finger at you.”
If you’re interested in the topic and want a mode in-depth take on the topic, including examples and shit, you can visit LonerWolf. I think for this review, is better for just talk briefly about the definition.
The sloppiness of this movie as a whole, makes me want to be basic about the term. I don’t even need to spoil the movie, because the name of the film itself spoil the end, but in such a shallow way.
But I don’t want to get ahead of myself, here’s what I have to say about the “Gas Light” A.K.A. “Nun”.
Gas Light or Nun
Oh my God, this movie is bad! Easily one of the worst movies I have ever watched in my entire life.
Sister Gracie Rose (Julianna Robinson) is a nun with some psychological issues regarding an accident she suffered before joining the religious life. This accident left her then boyfriend in a wheelchair.
The traumatic accident have made the relationship end, Gracie became a Nurse and the former couple didn’t keep in touch, even living in different cities.
It’s clear to me that the Doc is not the best psychoanalyst, the movie does not state this, and to be honest I don’t think they quite know how psychoanalysis work, the movie was probably poorly researched.
To be clearer, in the first therapy scene, Dr. Hancock pressure Gracie after only three sessions. It was a big “What the fuck?” moment to me.
Sigmund Freud, the founder of Psychoanalysis, wrote “Recommendations for Physicians on the Psycho-Analytic Method of Treatment” (1912). When psychoanalysis were a very young practice, there was the necessity to give some orientations to the doctors with interest in using such technique.
Among many other things, in the aforementioned text, Freud says that the physician must guide the process according with the patient’s capability, not according to the doctor’s desire. In other words, respect the patient’s psychic process, not rush it.
When Gracie is not on the shitty therapy, she’s working on a Catholic School or at home dwelling in her loneliness.
What we see from her home life is a little extension from what she tells the doctor. She drinks wine, take pills prescribed by Dr. Hancock, binds her own legs, masturbates thinking about the ex in bed and then sleeps.
She is not into BDSM, she binds herself because everyday she notices strange occurrences in her home, like doors she locked before bed are found opened in the morning, so she thinks she might be losing her mind for good.
The most worrying situation was an empty basket appearing in her table. The basket was supposed to contain a large amount of money donated for the church, but the basket and the money were disappeared for a while, now the basket was found, but with no money.
The masturbation scene was probably a way to demonstrate how she still thinks about her ex and struggles with her sexuality as a nun, but I think is also a gratuitous saucy addition, like the bath scene I’ll mention later.
One day, Gracie receive an email from her long lost lover, proposing a meeting in the neighboring town. Her friend Clementine encourages her to go and, since she Gracie was going to the city, Clementine asked for the friend to get a sprayer in a big storage for her.
So it’s day for Gracie to see her old love. She takes a bath of course, when we can see her full naked body behind a transparent shower curtain. Then she puts on a beautiful dress that contour her very fit body, I bet there is a great Nun/Personal Trainer in the church gym.
The sister then goes to her friend, to get the key for the storage for her to get the poison sprayer. In this occasion we can see a little of Clementine’s simple life with her family, quite a chaotic mess, especially for a woman who showed to be ambitious before.
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 fit nun find the storage and the item she’s supposed to take back to Clementine.
That’s basically where the main conflict of the movie begins, when trying to get out of the storage, Gracie is locked inside, the lights go out and she have to stay there in the dark with nobody to help her and no phone signal.
The woman decide to take a nap for awhile, and when she wakes up, is forty minutes of the movie with just Gracie exploring the storage in near darkness until the final climax and big revelation of the movie.
I know I already said it, but I will say it again. Oh my God, this movie is bad! In case it’s not clear how bad it is, is important to say that it’s worse than my description may make it seems like.
I can’t think of absolutely any redeeming factor. The camera work is awful, the darkness is irritating, there is lots of unnecessary extreme close-up of random shit, like the teeth of some stuffed animals.
As if the stupid extreme close-ups weren’t bad enough, the shaky handheld camera takes it to a whole new level of shit.
I guess I could say the acting is okay, no one of the three actors are bad. They’re good enough, no one is great, but there is nothing like “The Room” or other notorious worst of the worst movies.
I have absolutely nothing against nudity or something sexy in a movie, but the scenes in “Nun” are so obviously just for the sake of it that there is no way to defend it. The masturbation scene alone would make sense, but when added to the bath scene and the many times when Gracie legs are shown, sometimes some almost “upskirt” shots, it seems like mere exploitation.
It’s like some teen horror movies that always put the girls in distress in a white t-shirt and not always wearing a bra. It’s a planned move, a thought choice of clothing.
I like nude scenes, not just because I like to see people naked, but because it makes sense sometimes. Later this month I will review a series with lots of nudity, but it’s good nudity and not in a stupid way like this “Nun” film.
The movie tries to fool you since the alternative title and poster. It’s clear that they tried to make it look like a horror, more specifically “The Nun” a highly expected movie released in 2018, part of “The Conjuring” universe.
Imagine that shit, a movie that expects you to watch it thinking it’s another movie. Maybe it was a decision made by the studio’s marketing team, without consulting the people directly responsible for the movie itself, but it’s a shameful anyway.
I still didn’t watch “The Nun” with Taissa Farmiga, but from what we know about it, and being a part of “The Conjuring” universe, I expect it to be extremely different than “Gas Light”, making the attempt to associate the two an even bigger mistake.
Think about it: You’re expecting to watch a very scary horror movie, with big budget, famous actors and jump scares, but instead, you’re watching a woman scream “Hello! Hello!” in an empty building for around forty minutes.
I almost never care about the IMDb ratings anymore, “Gas Light” has around 2.5 out of 10, but sometimes I read some of the user reviews about the movie. Some user reviews said the movie was a slow-burn psychological thriller and even compared to Hitchcock. That was a lie.
I think this specific reviews might have been bots or people payed by the production company to give the film a better reputation, because there is absolutely no way to compare it to Hichcock, I dare to say that even the worst Hitchcock movie is way better than “Gas Light”.
Now I going to spoil the ending, but I have to talk about it. So you have been warned.
The first twist is: Clementine and Doctor Hancock have an affair and stole the church donation to run away together. They tried to make Gracie think it was her who stole the money in some sort of mind black out.
The Doctor tries to make Gracie confess in a tape recorder, but Clementine thinks it’s going to far and ends up getting killed by the Doc. Gracie takes this moment to escape.
Eventually she gets out of the storage and manage to sabotage the Doctor’s truck before running with bare feet towards nothing. The sabotaged truck explodes and we think the nun is safe.
However, that’s not the end. She suddenly wake up in a hospital, the Doctor is now a priest and Clementine is a nun, they’re actually giving her the last rites. Like, everything she was going through was actually in her mind, she was in the hospital since the accident from the beginning of the movie.
But not so fast! There’s a third “twist”. She wakes up in the storage again, before she began exploring the place.
There is no way to know which one of the “endings” were the real one. I don’t think it matter and I don’t think the filmmakers even wanted to have a real one. It’s just the cheap gimmick we’ve seen before many time and done better.
This movie is bad from beginning to end. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt until the “locked up in the storage” part, but since then I knew it was going to be awful, and I was right.
I didn’t revealed my rating in the last reviews, but I think this time it’s pretty obvious that it’s going to be a 1 Moon, just because I don’t give zeros, otherwise it would be zero.