Review: The Nun II (2023)

The Nun II (2023)

Director: Michael Chaves | 110 minutes | horror | Actors: Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Storm Reid, Anna Popplewell, Bonnie Aarons, Katelyn Rose Downey, Suzanne Bertish, Léontine d’Oncieu, Anouk Darwin Homewood, Peter Hudson, Tamar Baruch, Natalia Safran, Maxime Elias-Menet, Pascal Aubert

The best element of ‘The Conjuring II’ was the mysterious nun. This strange entity with glowing eyes, deathly pale skin and a motionless appearance scared a lot of people and soon a cult icon was born. Because film companies love money – preferably a lot – a real spin-off around this movie horror was inevitable. It resulted in the anonymous ‘The Nun’ from 2018. This film made enough to justify a sequel and that sequel can now be seen in cinemas under the not very original name ‘The Nun II’. There wasn’t a lot of publicity surrounding this film. Usually a bad sign…

In ‘The Nun II’ it appears that Valak (the real name of the demonic nun) has not yet been defeated. That was the idea, so it means that the services of Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) are needed again. Unfortunately, she can no longer rely on the help of an experienced exorcist, so Irene has to make do with her friend Sister Debra (Storm Reid). This woman is not very Bible-oriented and that means she must quickly regain her faith if they want to stop Valak together. The demon has taken possession of Maurice (Jonas Bloquet), the gardener from the first part who, like Irene, survived a demonic attack.

For a major film that was released in theaters quite quietly, ‘The Nun II’ is surprisingly strong. A lot of money and attention has clearly been paid to the special effects, costumes and sets. The film looks neat and the cast is – in general – fine. Yet there is that but…

‘The Nun II’ seems to have been badly battered on the editing table. There were probably a lot of reshoots involved, because the film did not run smoothly. You are looking at a number of separate scenes that have been stitched together. It is clear that there suddenly had to be more violence, because many scenes serve no purpose other than to increase the amount of blood. Nameless victims are sacrificed to Valak and then never mentioned again.

The pace is completely off and that creates a lot of dead moments – something you don’t even want in a horror movie. The film is saved by the strong acting of Farmiga, the charisma of Bloquet and a rather nice love plot between Maurice and a teacher.

Director Michael Chaves promised a bloody film – the goriest of ‘The Conjuring’ franchise – and he delivered. ‘The Nun II’ is brutal at times and the tension build-up is sometimes quite nice. If you dropped out after the previous part, this part will definitely regain your interest. Nice horror movie with a few flaws, but with cool brutal scenes.

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