The NUN II Review: This Friday will witness the debut of “The Nun II,” which will see Taissa Farmiga return to her spooky role as Sister Irene, adding another movie to the $2 billion-grossing “Conjuring” franchise.
The first “Nun” film, which followed Sister Irene as she fought the demonized nun Valek in 1952 Romania, made its debut in 2018 and went on to gross $366 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing installment in the “Conjuring” series to date.
Story of THE NUN II
Maurice serves as the demon’s vehicle as it travels from Romania to France slaying priests and nuns while maintaining its nun persona. Sisters Debra and Irene must thwart the terrible force. What does Valak want this time, and will they succeed?
Review of THE NUN II
The film begins in 1956 in Tarascon, France, four years after the events in Romania, when Valak or the Nun (Bonnie Aarons) kills a priest by burning him to death. Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) is called by the Vatican once more to look into and put an end to the evil entity that is kidnapping other priests and nuns. The Nun is still in control of Maurice, a.k.a. Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), and she is on the lookout for a Christian relic, which leads her to a French boarding school. Sister Debra (Storm Reid) travels with Sister Irene as she sets out to learn more about what the demon is after and put an end to it while also picking up teachings on faith and miracles.
As a sequel to The Nun (2018), Michael Chaves’s film is rife with horror clichés, such as a football that rolls out of a dark room on its own, footsteps in the middle of the night, eerie visions, etc. The narrative of Akela Cooper is equally one-dimensional, just like that of the Conjuring franchise’s initial film and many more. But this time, Chaves offers a number of expertly crafted scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat, if not quite send chills down your spine. For instance, when Sister Irene pursues a small kid who saw the priest burn, she comes onto a dark alleyway where a stand of magazine pages suddenly and frantically flips its pages, eventually producing a frightful sight.
The story takes its time developing and spends a lot of time focusing on the characters and their stories. It doesn’t feel like enough is known about the Christian relic’s significance, its history, or how it links to Sister Irene. Although well-conceived and executed, the mystery’s conclusion and the subsequent events seem a little hurried in comparison to the build-up.
Although Taissa Farmiga does a good job in her role, one would have preferred to see more nuance in her persona after the first act. However, in this one, one learns more about her and her family. The character progression from the last installment is clear, and Jonas Bloquet is likeable. Bonnie Aarons is not as threatening and terrifying as one would have liked in the role of the title character. Her encounter with Sophie, a young friend of Maurice’s played by Katelyn Rose Downey, at the boarding school is one scene that stands out.
Although atmospheric, The Nun II only occasionally displays its greatness. The fabric of the Conjuring universe calls for much more. The film has potential, but the low level of dread, the uneven pacing of the story, and the numerous horror clichés hold it back. The Nun’s second half does a little something to redeem itself, but altogether, it falls short of expectations.