The Nun II conjures chills, but not without sacrifice
The Nun II (NC16)
110 mins, now showing
The Conjuring universe has birthed a slew of horror villains, from the iconic Annabelle doll to the malevolent witch Bathsheba. Valek, a formidable demon who assumes the eerie guise of a nun, often ranks as the most fearsome. But is that still the case in The Nun II?
Set against the backdrop of a French boarding school, four years after the events of its predecessor, The Nun II sees recurring protagonist Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) once again facing off with Valek following a fresh wave of gruesome murders across Europe.
The supernatural horror flick kicks off with promise, boasting a robust premise, gripping opening scene, suspenseful storyline and likeable characters. Farmiga delivers a commendable performance, while 14-year-old Katelyn Rose Downey shines in her role as a schoolgirl tormented by older bullies. Atmospheric and haunting, the movie doesn't shy away from grisly moments that effectively evoke fear and terror.
But while The Nun II succeeds in building tension as its multiple subplots converge, it ends up stumbling into a mishmash of tired horror clichés, underwhelming jump scares and gratuitous screaming.
The supporting characters are disappointingly underdeveloped, reduced to caricatures and mere background noise – quite literally, as they often do little more than scream, scream and scream some more.
This is particularly evident in newcomer Sister Debra (Storm Reid), who misses the mark as Irene’s sidekick despite an outspoken commitment to the latter’s quest and some bonding moments between the two.
Although a welcome addition to a beloved series, The Nun II ultimately succumbs to overdone horror tropes, forgettable characters and lackluster storytelling. There are some entertaining and spine-chilling moments, but the lack of genuine scares and emotional depth are hard to overlook.
Despite being dubbed the greatest evil in The Conjuring universe, horror icon Valek is far from the scariest or the most memorable, if the franchise’s ninth and latest installment is anything to go by.
- The Nun II opens in cinemas today.