I must confess to having a love-hate relationship with the Conjuring universe. While the original Conjuring films are my favorites, I have occasionally enjoyed the other films, I might as well say I’ve grown up with these films. Of course, The Conjuring still reigns supreme in my opinion as the best of the lot, and yet, there is a special place in my heart for the second installment, which is all about the potent power of love and really just focuses on Ed and Lorraine’s beautiful relationship regardless of its real-life complexities (nah, but I really thought Ed and Lorraine were the OG).
Fictional Ed and Lorraine are inseparable, making it so delightful to watch their enduring love despite the many horrors they face together. When it comes to The Nun, I am out of answers for why this entity emerges as the ultimate source of dread in the franchise. I find it rather silly, almost as if it’s just for gags. The Nun isn’t an origin story that tells us where the demon came from; it just recounts a tale of what happened 20 years before the happenings of The Conjuring. And then there’s The Nun 2, emerging four years after its harrowing predecessor, but it manages to give us the answers we’ve all been dying to hear. Are those answers worth the wait or the excitement? I’m not quite sure.
The Nun 2 follows the fearless Sister Irene, who saved the world from Valak once before and has returned to do it again. Her story, though not forgotten, has left a huge mark on her life, and she has tried her best to leave those events of the past out of it. Unfortunately, due to some terrible events taking place all over Europe, the Vatican calls upon Irene once again to perform a miracle. This time, she’s joined by another young nun who is lost in the world of her faith. Frenchie saved Irene’s life once before, so now it’s her turn to end this all.
The Nun 2 plays out for about 1 hour and 50 minutes, and the pacing is pretty decent. There are some slow moments here and there, too, which gives a scared viewer some time to relax before jumping right back into action. What I personally enjoyed in the first film were the characters. Specifically, Irene and Frenchie are great characters to have been added to this universe. Frenchie is especially amusing with his little jokes, teasing everybody, and living his own little world-traveler life. In this part as well, we see a lot of that Frenchie; we see some sweet moments between him and some new characters, and all those are super fun to watch. If you do choose to watch this film, I’d say stick around for the mid-credit scene which will be exciting for fans of the franchise as a whole.
In The Nun 2, there’s a new character, Sister Debra, played by Storm Reid, who adds a dose of comic relief. She brings a lively and enthusiastic energy to the story alongside Tessa Farmiga’s Sister Irene. The cast does a great job of portraying fear, but unfortunately, the truly terrifying moments in the film are a bit lacking. It might be that too much time has passed, and there’s not a lot that can be done to make these movies scarier. Repeating the same jump scares over and over or trying to evoke primal fear with a familiar character just doesn’t have the same impact as it once did. On a positive note, I did enjoy the origin story, but I wish it had been explored more deeply and the lore was presented in a bigger proportion. Surprisingly, its significance in the film doesn’t feel as substantial as it could have been.
Like The Conjuring 2, The Nun 2 leans on themes of love, friendship, and the weight of past battles to maintain audience engagement. It provides a substantial amount of information that may be more than necessary for long-time franchise fans but could be beneficial for newcomers or casual viewers. Perhaps the five-year gap since the last installment justifies this approach. The film also features empowering moments of female solidarity and “girl boss” camaraderie, which can be quite enjoyable, especially if you view it more as a thriller than a pure horror movie. However, when measured against some outstanding horror films released this year alone, such as Evil Dead Rise, Talk To Me, and even James Wan’s M3GAN, which genuinely make your stomach churn with fear, The Nun 2 doesn’t quite match up to the standard. As with Insidious: The Red Door, The Nun 2 fails at evoking anything other than nostalgia.
The Nun 2 is definitely better than Part 1, and if you’re in any way interested in the characters of the first part, you may enjoy The Nun 2. If you have no interest in or care for Irene or Frenchie, I’d definitely say skip this one and wait for an OTT release. There are some jump scares that may make you turn twice, but other than that, it’s a joyful ride. I’m not going to deny the fact that I had fun with this film, but overall, it left me dissatisfied. There is one particular scene, which is also in the trailer, that felt extremely creative, and I think credit should be given where it is due. I only wish there was a better script or drive to propel this film.
I think this movie is mainly meant for fans of The Conjuring universe to just add another feather to their hat. If someone who is completely new to the horror genre watched this, maybe a couple of scenes would get them, but as a fan of the genre, I was completely unbothered throughout the film. Literally, my back was hurting after it was done. Jokes aside, if you don’t scare easily, go into The Nun 2 expecting a comedy show. I’d give The Nun 2 about 2.5 out of 5 stars, with .5 for Frenchie’s charm and .5 for Irene’s badassery.