The malevolent Valak manifests once again for another dread-filled haunting in The Nun II, 5 years after the first release of his sinister onslaught on unsuspecting priests in the first film.
Now Valak takes his destructive hauntings to 1950s France, spreading his evil again and murdering innocent priests, drawing out Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) in the process.
Saint Carta Incident
We know how Valak came to be, how he’s manifested into the world, and the series of sinister events he had inflicted upon the lives of those in churches before the Warren family condemned him back to hell.
Going back to the events of the first film, Sister Irene manages to survive the dreadful ordeal of the demonic nun Valak (Bonnie Aarons) together with Father Burke (Demián Bichir) and Maurice Theriault (Jonas Bloquet). However, we also get a grim discovery that Maurice has been possessed at the end of the film, setting the stone for a sequel.
Four years after the Saint Carta incident, a new series of enigmatic murders of priests and sisters happened again, leading to Sister Irene investigating the mystery. This time, Sister Irene will be accompanied by Debra, a sister from the same chapel, and not with Father Burke. One thing led to another, Sister Irene and Maurice reunited and thus began the hauntings of Valak.
Terror Once Again
While the first film was introduced as the prequel of Conjuring 2, The Nun II serves as a bridge between the two movies. The chains of Valak have also been unleashed for this film, making him a lot more active compared to the previous movie and escalating the tension. However, Sister Irene is once again given special treatment through questionable plot armor, allowing her to survive encounters.
The Nun II up the horror and showcases more brutal and disturbing imagery, starting the movie with a violent scene of a priest burnt alive in front of an innocent child. Furthermore, Valak ain’t the only demon roaming around in The Nun II, as a Baphomet-liked devil stalks its prey and brings scares and thrills to audiences.
The eerie atmosphere amplifies the film’s tension, featuring many scenes of dark places and creepy hallways, especially the disturbing old chapel of the boarding school. Unfortunately, despite the horrifying features of Valak, the jumpscares are rather predictable with only very few moments I jolted during the movie.
Well the movie is filled with tension from start to finish, there are some quiet character moments between the characters, namely Maurice, and new characters, Kate and Sophie, who all assist Sister Irene in battling the evil Valak.
By the end of the movie, many unanswered questions from the first movie do get resolved, such as Valak’s capability to spread his evil across countries and how the story leads to the events of Conjuring 2.
However, The Nun II also has questionable plotholes that confuse the lore of the Conjuring universe more, especially how Valak is even able to haunt people despite everything that happened in this movie. Sister Irene is also a mystic to the Conjuring series where I hope she gets better characterization and explanation of why she is special to have those visions.
The Nun II is indeed a step up from the previous movie but still suffers from mediocre pacing. The moment Sister Irene reunites with Maurice in the film, the nightmarish horror begins, and it is terrors from there on to the end.
There are some great action sequences that I do not expect in a horror movie and despite a few setbacks around the characters, the movie is still an enjoyable watch for those who are fascinated by the Conjuring universe.
The Conjuring Universe Tour is currently ongoing at The Curve Shopping Mall, Mutiara Damansara from 26 August to 19 November 2023.
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The Nun II
- The cast put up a good performance
- An enjoyable horror flick especially if you're a fan of the Conjuring universe
- Predictable jumpscares
- Might be confusing if you have not watched the first film
The Nun II