The Nun II (15, 110 Minutes)
What can be said about the lovechild of James Wan’s The Conjuring 2?
Well, as a character, the demon nun Valak – played by actress Bonnie Aarons, who seems to keep getting typecast as a hideous creature from the pits of hell – is freaky to say the least. She sure raised a few hairs during her first appearance in 2016, where Vera Farmiga sent her back to hell.
Then came a mediocre solo outing, in which she chased Taissa Farmiga around a convent before being flung into the flames once more. Now she’s back, again, because of course demons can’t just get lost and leave us mortals to it.
But what are the chances of this installment showing any improvement on The Conjuring Universe’s recent, mediocre attempts to keep the franchise alive?
Short answer: nun.
Let’s be blunt, if you’re going to make a sequel to a film called “The Nun”, you need to come up with a better title than “The Nun 2”. It’s sloppy and lazy. Even the makers of an upcoming, questionable sequel to The Exorcist managed to commit some time and creativity with its title “Believer”, so what was stopping director Michael Chaves from brainstorming a little?
When films are being made “based on a true story” we can now only expect massive liberties are going to be taken with the source material. Even The Nun’s first outing, in which she was revealed to be the mastermind behind the 1970s Enfield Haunting, was a wild idea stretching into total absurdity.
So you’re then left with a character who’s only talking point is that she looks a bit like Marilyn Manson.
That being said, there is a neat little connection to Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson’s Ed and Lorraine Warren – even if, again, their roles as demonologists are being hyped up to the extreme. As interesting as the stories are about their cases, I doubt they were performing tornado fuelled exorcisms and being flung around rickety old houses.
Will the film sell? Of course it will. People love a jumpscare. But there’s only so many times you can jump out of the shadows shouting “Boo!” before your credibility is chipped away completely. Valak’s only purpose is to glide through the shadows with a big nose.
Cyrano De Bergerac would be livid.