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The Nun II Review: Conjures Some Scares But Is More Curse Than Blessing

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“The Nun II” dares to take the holy water and venture further into the dark alleys of its established lore.. and it’s an improvement. Directed by Michael Chaves, whose previous credits include other entries in the Conjuring universe, this sequel manages to elevate itself above mere genre trappings—only to stumble into the common pitfalls of franchise storytelling.

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“The Nun II” unravels in a well-calibrated, detective-story manner, deftly threading two parallel arcs. On one side is Sister Irene, portrayed by Taissa Farmiga with newfound confidence and a sense of wisdom, making her character arc feel credible and almost superheroic. On the other is Maurice, embodied by Jonas Bloquet, whose possession by the demon Valak turns an all-girls boarding school into a house of escalating horrors. The interplay between these parallel narratives generates an effective tension, with one contributing chills and the other supplying the existential dread. This dual storytelling approach, in many ways, improves upon the original film’s pace.

Chaves clearly understands the art of horror, invoking dread through atmospheres, from the gloomy, shadow-filled corridors of the boarding school to the artful use of camera angles and special effects. But where “The Nun II” diverges from its genre colleagues is in its willingness to buy into its characters as more than just pawns in Valak’s malevolent game. Farmiga’s Irene is a far cry from the shrieking heroines often conjured in such films; she has agency, a past, and a spiritual gift that shapes her destiny. Likewise, the character of Sister Debra, played by Storm Reid, adds layers of fearlessness and defiance, complementing Irene’s calculated approach.

Yet, for all its highlights, the film doesn’t entirely escape the orbit of its shortcomings. Its ambitious finale, for instance, is an amalgamation of half a dozen ideas that feel more like a brainstorming session than a thoughtfully curated climax. While not abysmal, the ending dabbles in a level of convolution that feels at odds with the film’s earlier, more streamlined storytelling. Furthermore, the sprawling nature of the Conjuring universe inadvertently saps the narrative of some of its urgency, as we know there’s more spectral drama yet to come in future installments.

The film’s ensemble cast also includes an appealing mother-daughter duo, played by Anna Popplewell and Katelyn Rose Downey, whose characters serve as metaphors for love and hope, offering a nuanced contrast to the demonic darkness. However, the emotional arc they bring feels briefly explored, making us wish for a more expansive handling of these human elements amidst the supernatural chaos.

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So, does “The Nun II” rise to the heavens or plummet into the abyss? It does a bit of both. While it maintains an above-average quality for a ninth installment in a fractured horror franchise, it also serves as a cautionary tale for the pitfalls of not knowing how to seal the crypt properly. Here’s to hoping the inevitable sequel exorcises the minor demons that haunt this otherwise enthralling horror venture.

RATING: 2.5 out of 5

The Nun II is in theatres, Friday September 8th, 2023.

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8 Responses

  1. Joey Labu says:

    this was stupid but taissa was hot

  2. Chrissy Bann says:

    this had scary parts lot more than the first one.

  3. Boozboy says:

    HATED IT. STOP WITH THESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Ciaron104 says:

    they keep making them, and i keep going. i am the problem

  5. BVZ Moskva says:

    none for me thx

  6. Sandra Kinnam says:

    it was too scary for me too. i would see a third one tho

  7. Mova 11 says:

    NO MORE NUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Professor Kit says:

    more conjuring less nun and more taissa tho too

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