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This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie/series/feature being covered here wouldn't exist.

"The Nun II continues the trend of below average predictable ghoulish guff, but at least it’s better than the first."
The Nun II

The 9th instalment in The Conjuring Universe. The Nun II is set in 1956 - France. A priest is murdered. An evil is spreading. This sequel follows Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) as she once again comes face-to-face with Valak (Bonnie Aarons), the demon nun.

The Conjuring celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and can also still revel in the fact that is still by far the most superior entry in this series, that for me, has consistently pumped out lacklustre to outright terrible supernatural horror features on a conveyor belt that doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. The Nun II continues the trend of below average predictable ghoulish guff, but at least it’s better than the first.

Speaking of The Nun, I didn’t rewatch it before this sequel and honestly could barely remember a thing at all about it outside of its schlocky over-the/top finale. This sequel dips its toes into a couple of flashbacks to help those who banished the first from their mindset, however it’s really not too important, as this once again just recycles the eye-rollingly familiar formula and parades around its cliches front and centre: 90% the same scare tactic each time, a library research scene, a MacGuffin to find and stop Valak with (box office results will determine how long for)… its just so tired.

The Nun II

It also really has no business being 110 minutes long, and it certainly feels it. The smatterings of mythology spark moments of interest but it’s all very much surface level and structurally the film scuttles all over the place. What’s frustrating is that there is potential, especially from the aesthetic and visual perspective. There are some *genuinely* great shots: the pre-title card drop is metal as hell, a standout eerie magazine page turner sequence and solid practical effect work and makeup. The musty Hammer Horror-esque sets and atmosphere offer a certain sense of hammy immersion.

The performances are solid, it’s just the characters aren’t particularly anything to write home about and don’t get enough development. Taissa Farmiga is an engaging enough presence, Jonas Bloquet gives a budget riff on Patrick Wilson in Insidious: Chapter 2 and Bonnie Aaron’s grins, snarls and gurns her way through as the Valak.

The Nun II is another dull, disposable and utterly generic chapter of this universe and honestly I am just tired at this point. Despite some bursts of strong horror imagery, impressive sets and effects, this sequel is a repetitive, nunderwhelming jump scare fest to add to the pile of forgettable supernatural horror features.


The Nun II


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