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The Nun II should repent for being a doldrum sequel

The 2023 fall movie season is upon us, so it's time to return to The Conjuring film franchise universe. Michael Chaves directs the ninth installment in the franchise with a screenplay written by Ian Goldberg, Richard Naing, and Akela Cooper from a story by Cooper.

Characters returning for the sequel are Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), Maurice (Jonas Bloquet), and The Nun (Bonnie Aarons). Chaves opens the film 1956 France after the murder of a priest Sister Irene now serves in a convent in Italy and is mentoring another Sister, Debra (Storm Reid). Maurice works at a boarding school in France, where he has made friends with a young Irish girl named Sophie (Katelyn Rose Downey) and her mother/teacher, Kate (Anna Popplewell). When the Cardinal asks her to investigate a series of deaths across Europe, Irene will have to face the terrors from her past.

Although I wasn't a fan of the first movie, I approached the sequel with an open mind. Unfortunately, The Nun II may be one of the year's worst films for me. The biggest problem with the movie is its predictable and poorly executed storyline. It seems like a repetition of overused horror movie clichés that we have seen many times before. The plot is complicated and doesn't expand upon the captivating mythology introduced in the first movie. Instead, it adheres to a formulaic structure that delivers no unexpected twists or real thrills.

The characters in The Nun II lack depth and are one-dimensional. They only serve as tools for providing cheap jump scares and clichéd horror movie dialogue. The actors' performances are unremarkable, failing to bring credibility and emotional investment to their roles. As a result, it's hard to care about what happens to them because their development is poor.

Additionally, the scares in this sequel are quite underwhelming. The movie relies heavily on predictable jump scares, giving no opportunity for authentic suspense or anticipation. The atmosphere, a highlight of the original film, is absent in this follow-up. It is a generic horror movie that fails to replicate the fear and discomfort that made the first installment noteworthy.

Visually, "The Nun II" offers nothing new or exciting. The cinematography is uninspired and lacks the visual flair that could have elevated the film. The special effects are mediocre, failing to create memorable or terrifying moments. The pacing of The Nun II presents a problem as it tends to drag on for too long, with some scenes that do not contribute to the story. This can make it tedious to watch. The climax feels rushed and unsatisfying, leaving some loose ends untied and no satisfying ending for the viewers. As a result, disappointment may be the feeling that remains with them.

Following the beats of the first film, The Nun II is a disappointing horror flick that fails to live up to the potential of its franchise. It lacks originality, scares, and compelling storytelling. It's a forgettable addition to the horror genre that fails to leave a lasting impression. Save your time and skip this lackluster sequel in favor of more innovative and engaging horror films.

Final Grade: D+

The Nun II is in theaters now.


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