The Nun II Review

Wednesday 13 September 2023

Plot: 1956 - France. A priest is murdered. An evil is spreading. The sequel to the worldwide smash hit follows Sister Irene as she once again comes face-to-face with Valak, the demon nun.
Film: The Nun II

Director: Michael Chaves

Writers: Ian B. Goldberg, Akela Cooper, Richard Naing

Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Storm Reid, Bonnie Aarons

Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) is back at the Vatican's request when prominent religious figures are turning up dead under supernatural circumstances, which is immediately recognised as the demon Irene previously thought she'd stopped, The Nun (Bonnie Aarons). Joined by Sister Debra (Storm Reid), new to the habit and unsure of her faith, the two must journey across Europe to find where demon is going and what it seeks, which leads Irene to discover that the demon was never vanquished at all, but instead attached itself to Maurice (Jonas Bloquet) when he returned to save Irene back in Romania. 

Bringing back these fan favourite characters is this franchises strongest move. Maurice, or Frenchie as he's also known by, is every bit as charming as in the first film. Since leaving Romania he has established himself in a French boarding school, having befriended school teacher and single mother Kate (Anna Popplewell) and her daughter Sophie (Katelyn Rose Downey), blissfully unaware of his current hitchhiker. Sister Irene has also moved on established herself in a new convent, content in mentoring newcomer Sister Debra and trying to forget about what happened in Romania.

These 'based on a true story' type of horror films are by no means my favourite, but what I find hard to connect to about the Warren Diaries universe is also what I like about it. There's a certain coziness to this franchise and while that's mostly down to Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson's presence within it, even when they aren't in a film, the extensive references to the other stories within each project make you Rick Dalton meme. The Nun II is no exception, familiar faces and demons alike make an appearance including the confirmation of a long established fan theory that Lorraine Warren is in some way related to Sister Irene, both of which are descendants of Saint Lucy, though with only twenty years between The Nun II and The Conjuring, during which Lorraine is in her thirties, their relation is unclear and some retconning may be required...

One of my main gripes is that a couple of the scenes from the trailer were either missing or changed for the worst, and while this is by no means unique to The Nun II, when you're waiting for something in a horror film and it doesn't happen it's always disappointing.

This is film made up of predictable jump scares and more lore than the filmmakers can likely keep track of. The story feels incomplete in a way that cheapens the experience, rather than makes me eager for more -but this is still an improvement on the first instalment and the best from director Michael Chaves. As with the other films, they don't work as standalone so only make the time if you're up to date on the Franchise.

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