Inside the horror universe that mixes fan favorites The Conjuring and Annabelle, something else was born that donned a pair of evil yellow eyes and a rosary that scared audiences to memorable levels. Of course, that is The Nun from The Conjuring II with her two frightening cameos. The talk around town delivered yet another spinoff movie from this Conjuring universe. Five years ago, her film was released and was met with terrible critical reviews, but was highly successful financially, grossing over $368 million. Another half a decade later, its sequel The Nun II fails to deliver any scares, character development, or any sense of entertainment within a world with no rules. This awful, wretched horror sequel should be a lesson to studios longing to milk their franchises dry.
As I walk through the valley of the shadow of film, I take a look at my life and realize this is not a good movie. It's not exactly clear where things went wrong here, but most likely, the sole blame is on The Nun II director Michael Chaves. The first film from five years ago was directed by Corin Hardy and due to its 24% rating on RT, he still hasn't made a film since. This sequel was then offered to Chaves who made The Conjuring III and The Curse of La Llorona. These are unarguably the worst two films in the entire Conjuring universe. However, James Wan served as a producer of this movie and the two writers Ian Goldberg and Akela Cooper are bonafide badasses in the writing world (lending their penmanship to films like The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Malignant, and M3GAN) so the question begs - Where did this go wrong?
While director Chaves desperately wants to keep his roots in horror, maybe it's time for him to move on to something different, because The Nun II offers nothing new to horror, is virtually scareless, the visuals are steeped in almost complete darkness while it operates on a no rules horror environment where anything can happen without rhyme or reason. To make matters worse, The Nun II only gives less than two minutes of screen time to the titular character Valak herself (its self?). It's that bad. Plus, the film never understands what path to take, whether it be a serious detective drama or an all-out insane comedy horror movie that is as silly as a Naked Gun movie complete with a weregoat. Yes, a weregoat. Chaves only dips his toes into these styles but never commits to one tone or another which leaves this narrative in a perpetual state of limbo
The Nun II takes place five years after the events of the first film where Sister Irene (Vera Farmiga's sister in real life Taissa) is asked to perform a miracle once again due to The Nun killing other priests and people in France. To mildly change the story up, this evil demonic Nun has nestled herself in a cozy spot inside a boarding school where certain children begin to see creepy things and visions of this frightening force. But again, there are no rules set in this sequel. This Nun can do anything, anywhere, to anyone at any time whether it be possessing multiple people at once, levitating objects, appearing out of thin air, or conjuring up weregoats from stained glass windows. There's nothing she can't do, unless a few barrels of cabernet get thrown on her, and then she's out for the count. Those are facts. Nothing makes sense here and none of the characters are likable enough to care about because it's trying to play it too seriously all the time where no fun is to be had inside a horror movie - especially one with a WEREGOAT.
There is a great setup with this Nun character. Her background and ability to scare could be something incredible given the right story and tone, but as of now, these spinoff movies go nowhere and offer nothing up that is original or new where the only moments of alleged horror are someone walking down a dark hallway or entering a creepy room where the Nun suddenly appears, growls and disappears. Rinse and repeat. This is a lazy attempt and completely downgrades this once-beloved character. Maybe the third time will be the charm? Probably not. Skip It!