The Nun 2 is ninth film in the Conjuring Universe, and it is set four years after The Nun (2018). Famously, The Nun is one of the lowest regarded films in the Conjuring Universe with a 35% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and the critics aren’t kinder with a 24% recommendation rate. So the question going into The Nun 2 is whether or not the sequel would improve upon the original, and I’m sad to say that it doesn’t.
Michael Chaves, who directed three of the last four Conjuring Universefilms, directs this story as it is picks up Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) in a convent in Italy where she learns that the demon from the first film is making its way across Europe. Storm Reid’s character, Debra, joins Irene on a journey to France where Maurice (Jonas Bloquet), another returning character, works as a kindly handyman at a boarding school.
The problem with The Nun 2 is that so much of it relies upon jump scares and characters walking slowly down hallways with creepy music in the background. It relies on all of the typical and tired horror tropes that we’ve all grown too accustomed to. In too many sequences, you can literally count down when the jump scare is going to happen. The slow walking down a hallway until something appears menacingly behind the character extends the runtime of the movie artificially; The Nun 2 runs a bloated to 1:50, and there’s about 1:20 that isn’t skippable.
That said, there is more character interaction and development in this than in The Nun. I found myself coming close to a limited recommendation for The Nun 2, as the characters were building somewhat genuine relationships. Particularly, Maurice’s fatherly relationship to one of the boarding school girls and his flirtatious interaction with her mother work rather well, and Debra and Irene occasionally are interesting. The rest of the cast is horror fodder, while many in the main cast have plot armor during the scare sequences.
Ultimately, however, too much of the movie-making is just tired and rote. Even though The Nun 2 is an improvement from The Nun, if fans of the Conjuring Universe didn’t like that movie, there’s nothing here that will change their minds.