The Nun II: A lackluster sequel


”The Nun II” did well critically at the box office, grossing over $250 million, but the most memorable moment from my experience at the theater was when I got to leave. This disappointing sequel dives deep into the origins of one of the most lackluster characters introduced in the series, Valak, and their encounters with Sister Irene. 

“The Nun II” is part of the popular “Conjuring” series. I would recommend watching the movie’s prequel, “The Nun,” first, along with other movies in the “Conjuring” series, as it would give one a better understanding of what’s going on in this movie. I went into this movie blind without watching the prequel, and while I expected to have at least a slight grasp on the overarching story, I was left confused without proper exposition. While it does provide some context about the origins of Valak and Irene, it feels somewhat shallow and lacks creativity.

Despite a satisfying ending, the plot was ever-confusing, and the scares played into horror cliches. Overall, the writing of “The Nun II” was uninspired and lazy and felt like a flaccid addition to the “Conjuring” series. Along with this, the film lacked originality. The other movies in the series were chock full with new ideas and new characters, but this film played into a repetitive structure with no new additions to the lore.

The character writing was especially inert, and all of the integral characters were very static with little real character development. The couple, Lorraine and Ed Warren, aren’t as efficiently thought out as they should be and leave the audience wanting more. One of the best things about this series is that it is a “true story,” and the Warren couple were real paranormal investigators. If their roots had been explained in more depth, like they have in past movies, it would have helped people unfamiliar with the sequel understand and enjoy the movie more.

The setting in “The Nun II” is in a dark, gothic abbey-like setting in France. The movie takes place in a town surrounded by a forest in 1956. The setting complements the overall vibe of the movie well, with the eerie churches and dark forests in the background creating a dreadful and mysterious feeling. 

The cinematography, which was led by Tristan Lyby, captured the emotion and fear well but lacked any sense of anticipation. The jump scares were too frequent and predictable. Most effective horror movies utilize cinematography to bring in a fear factor and engage the audience, but “The Nun II” falls short.

Despite the lack of anticipation for much of the movie, the ending did have me on the edge of my seat. It was effectively scary and included wide-angle shots that enhanced the scare-factor. They also used long, sweeping shots to build suspense. These aspects contributed to the overall image of the film.

The main antagonist of the movie, Valak, was a true nightmare brought to life. Bonnie Aarons’ portrayal of Valak was extremely convincing, and her eerie performance positively contributed to how scary the movie was. Valak’s costume design and makeup were especially impressive. Her fully-shadowed eyes and mouth along with her blood-soaked teeth gave her a spooky appearance. 

Valak has been a part of other horror movies, such as “Annabelle: Creation,” which is not part of the series. Valak reappears when Sister Irene, the main protagonist, decides to investigate the murder of a priest. The evil nuns’ appearance was perfectly tied to the other movies in the series and made many fans excited.

I especially liked how Sister Irene became intrigued by the mystery of the murder of the priest, as it contributed to the idea of the plot. Valak was a key factor in the murder of the priest and wanted to prevent any investigation of the murder, which sparked growing conflict between Sister Irene and Valak. In the time between the release of “The Nun” and “The Nun II,” Father Burke dies after being exposed to cholera. For more context, in the predecessor “The Nun,” Father Burke was a key figure in defeating Valak. With this, many conjuring fanatics believe that if he hadn’t died, he could have helped Sister Irene deal with Valak.

“The Nun II” deserves a rating of unsatisfactory, as I felt the movie was too forceful and had dull transitions and was bad enough to leave. It was a bit of a letdown because of how predictable it was. I feel like if the entire movie had been similar to the end, I would have been on the edge of my seat the whole time.

View Comments (3)
More to Discover

Comments (3)

All THE FEATHERDUSTER Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • M

    MarybethDec 29, 2023 at 8:06 pm

    My friend & I saw this at Theater. We both loved it. Thats why I don’t listen to critics!!

  • P

    PavithranOct 28, 2023 at 1:57 am

    Yes i agree with your thoughts

  • E

    Elizabeth GardeneOct 27, 2023 at 4:58 pm

    And Stoney Reid did not fit into the movie at all:.. horrible