REVIEW: The Nun II is a disappointingly superior sequel
It doesn't exactly get a Nun out of Ten from us...
Released in 2018, the first The Nun was a bad movie, but while it is rare for a bad horror movie to get an improved sequel, it isn't entirely unheard of. The first Annabelle movie was awful, but both Annabelle: Creation and Annabelle Comes Home were much better. Ouija was terrible, but Ouija: Origins was actually brilliant.
And so it is that The Nun II is significantly better than the first movie, but not by enough to actually make it a good movie. A two-star movie is twice as good as a one-star movie, but it is still just a two-star movie.
So what do you need to remember/know about from the first movie? Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), with the help of kind-hearted custodian Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) thought they had destroyed the demonic nun... but it turns out they didn't. And that is you all caught up.
This time around, Irene is called upon again to help look into a series of deaths within the church, with the pattern of deaths leading straight to a boarding school in France... where Frenchie just happens to work now. So Irene heads to the school with Sister Debra (Storm Reid), while Frenchie attempts to protect a teacher (Anna Popplewell) and her daughter (Katelyn Rose Downey) from the supernatural events plaguing them all.
The Nun II has one good scare... that it does way too many times.
The opening scene arrives with a bang, full of the bonkers, OTT scares that screenwriter Akela Cooper brought to Malignant and M3GAN. But once the actual plot kicks in, things take a turn for the repetitive, until the final 30 minutes when everything ramps up to maximum carnage again, which isn't great for a 110-minute horror.
Michael Chaves (director of the third Conjuring movie) directs with a decently creepy style, with a lot of neat camera tricks used to pull off some of the best scares, but the horror itself seems to be derived from the same genre of scare; something spooky is there and then suddenly isn't, or vice versa. The first few times, it is effective. The 20th, 30th, 50th time... not so much.
While this sequel never descends to the boring dross of the first movie, it never becomes scary enough or even interesting enough to be deemed good. 50 years ago, religious horror The Exorcist completely shocked its audiences with its scares and imagery, and while it is probably unfair to compare The Nun II to one of the greatest horrors ever made, the most shocking thing about this movie is how long it is...
The Nun II arrives in cinemas on Friday 8 September.
- 30 years ago this week, Brad Pitt went bad and failed miserably
- You will 100% not guess the direction this thriller series' trailer goes
- REVIEW: Past Lives is the best movie of 2023 so far
- Starfield vs Baldur's Gate 3: Which game should you play?
- Succession creator finally answers show's biggest mystery
- Netflix hint at the major events in The Crown's final episodes