Friday, September 29, 2023

‘The Nun II,’ a somewhat scary movie, which offers unexpected occurrences

By Matt Pascarella

Rated: R
Runtime: 1 hour, 50 minutes

It’s close enough to October, that it’s time for a scary movie – or two. As part of “The Conjuring” movie universe, “The Nun II” is the sequel to the 2018 movie. In France in 1956 a priest is mysteriously killed. Sister Irene returns in this movie and is told by the Cardinal that she is the only one who can stop the demon, Valak. The demon is responsible for a series of deaths across Europe. I enjoyed this movie on the big screen and although it’s not one of the scariest movies I’ve seen, it did have me jump in my seat a few times.

“The Nun II” stars Taissa Farmiga, Storm Reid, Bonnie Aarons, Jonas Bloquet, Katelyn Rose Downey, Anna Popplewell, Maxime Elias-Menet, Suzanne Bertish, and Peter Hudson.

It opens in France where an altar boy, Jacques (Menet), notices something peculiar in the shadows after serving in a mass. He quickly realizes there is an evil presence in the chapel. He witnesses Father Noiret being viciously killed.

After these events, Sister Irene (Farmiga) is told by the Cardinal she is the only one who can deal with the demon Valak because of her previous experience with the demon. She travels to Tarascon, France with Sister Deborah (Reid).

At the convent, where there is also a boarding school, a student makes a delivery and sees Valak possess handyman Maurice (Bloquet). Later bullies pick on and lock student Sophie (Downey) in the chapel. The girls told Sophie that the Devil is always there, you just have to look. Valak is in the chapel, but Maurice intervenes and helps Sophie escape.

Sister Irene is shown where Father Noiret was killed, and discovers she has a connection to Maurice. After looking for Jacques, and coming up short, she sees the presence of Valak at a magazine stand in a visually very cool scene. Valak appears to the headmistress after she encounters a possessed Maurice. It doesn’t end well for her.

Sister Irene and Sister Deborah meet with a librarian who tells them he thinks Valak is looking for a specific relic, a pair of eyes, and that is the key to getting rid of the demon.

Valak attacks Sister Irene and Deborah through Maurice. They tie up Maurice. Sophie, schoolteacher Kate (Popplewell), Sisters Irene and Deborah must now find the relic and stop Valak before it’s too late.

I want to be scared when I watch a horror movie and while I was startled, I didn’t find this that scary. While this movie is a bit gruesome and violent in parts, I found it over-the-top in some of the scarier parts, usually when Valak makes its presence known.

On the plus side, I thought this was quite suspenseful, with the creepy music often leading up to sometimes shocking events. It featured a few moments that really caught me off-guard. It had me jumping in my seat a few times and overall, I would recommend seeing this on the big screen for the maximum horror effect.

Two thumbs up; make sure you stay through the credits.

Now playing only in theaters. <

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