Evaluation: The Nun II

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The Nun II – 14%

Reviewer Flickchart ranking: 4,493 / 5,193

The Nun II is the latest entry in the Conjuring universe. Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) is back from the original 2018 film to take on the ecclesiastical demon (Bonnie Aarons), this time in France. However, Father Burke is not with us this go around, having succumbed to cholera. While the nun is perhaps the most interesting villain in James Wan’s Conjuring world, the first film struggled with a lack of story and only a passing concern with worldbuilding. Unfortunately, The Nun II directed by Michael Chaves, only exacerbates this issue. 

We jump right back into the grips of our unholy sister as she torments an altar boy and priest. As before, nuns have been committing suicide in Europe, on this occasion outside of the confines of Romania where Sister Irene & Father Burke did battle with the forces of hell. Sister Irene is plucked from anonymity in her new convent and has her newest friend, the novice Debra (Storm Reid), join her in their quest to banish the hellspawn once more. Maurice (Jonas Bloquet), the townsperson who aided the clergy in their first adventure, is now working as a repairman at the Catholic boarding school where the nun has re-emerged. 

Thus concludes most of the attempts of background and character development. The rest of The Nun II is slow walks into dark hallways with predictable jump scares. There are references to themes of faith & doubt, but no energy is put into developing those thoughts. However, the mortal sin of The Nun II is the distinct lack of dread throughout the near 2-hour running time. The terrors are too tame, and like much of the Conjuring-related films, they hold too much sacred to feel dangerous. 

The performances in The Nun II are perhaps the most even of the franchise. The lighting and set designs create a wonderful atmosphere but stop shy of any bold, creative choices. The editing is unsuccessful and prevents tension from forming. For the horror-starved or those drawn to the Catholic aesthetic, The Nun II will offer limited cinematic absolution. For everyone else it’ll be 110 minutes of purgatory. 

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