Plot: What’s it about?
Do you remember a scene in The Conjuring 2 where a picture of a creepy nun came alive and followed the character around the room? Or how about the creepy doll in The Conjuring? Well, each has their own movie, despite being largely inconsequential to either of the aforementioned films. 2018’s The Nun was a spinoff of the aforementioned universe and, surprisingly, it made nearly $350 million dollars worldwide. I guess Catholicsm is bigger than I thought. That or people were really desperate to be scared (and I’m sure they left unsatisfied). Since the release of this film we’ve had another entry into the Conjuring universe and now we’ve got a sequel to a movie that no one really asked for. Perhaps someone prayed for it? At any rate, let’s get the suffering over with and get to what can barely be classified as a plot.
Taissa Farmiga returns as Sister Irene and the Catholic Church has assigned her to investigate several suspicious deaths from priests and nuns around Europe. He trusty sidekick is Debra (Storm Reid). Irene quickly discovers that “the Demon Nun” (Bonnie Aarons) has possessed Maurice (Jonas Bloquet), who eagle-eyed viewers might recognize as the man who was a savior at the end of the first film. If that spoiled it for you, why are you reading a review of the sequel? At any rate, Maurice is now a handyman working at a school. He’s also trying to romance Kate (Anna Popplewell, who might seem familiar from the Narnia films) and befriends Sohie (Katelyn Rose Downey), her daughter. Irene and Debra set out to stop whatever it is the Demon Nun is planning.
And that’s it. I really think there should have been more of a plot, but I guess the filmmakers figured that if they throw in enough religious symbolism, it’ll eventually make sense to…someone. That “someone” was not me. I felt that the whole movie was just a series of scenes (truthfully, all movies are but most manage to do it better than here) to try and tease the viewer. There was a weird Mean Girls vibe to it as well, but I’ll let that part speak for itself. Given the success of this “universe”, it’s more likely than not that we’ll see yet another installment. The film surprisingly made nearly $300 million worldwide. Yeah, I was impressed as well. Whatever they’re doing seems to be working, but if it’s just not good storytelling. Then again Catholics are somewhat fanatical. Would you take a trip across the world because someone saw the Virgin Mary in a Cheeto? Me neither. But many would. Enjoy.
Video: How’s it look?
Taking a cue from its predecessor, The Nun II is about as dark as it gets. And given the source material, that’s fine. Warner’s Blu-ray looks about as good as one would expect with deep, dark blacks, razor fine detail and a decent color spectrum. The 2.39:1 AVC HD image doesn’t suffer from any artifacting or banding and it does lack the HDR that 4K discs have. Still, when looking at creepy nun’s, I would imagine that the picture is decent enough. Flesh tones are a bit washed out, but it’s by design. We get some good looks at some architecture as well as far too much Catholic imagery. Representative of a new to Blu-ray film, this plays the part well.
Audio: How’s it sound?
My comments on the movie aside, I will say that the included Dolby Atmos soundtrack on The Nun II is among the best I’ve heard. My wife was perfectly situated between the rear surrounds and there were several scenes in which her head was turning trying to figure out the creaking noises. It was these little nuances that really made the track; coupled with an ample front stage it really took it to another level. I found the overall sound stage encompassing with plenty of ambiance and it even gave my sub woofer a nice workout. This is literal proof that bad movies can have amazing-sounding tracks and kudos to Warner for putting an Atmos track on a Blu-ray.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Demons in Paradise – The first of two obligatory featurettes shows us some of the “creatures” in the film. Say your prayers, they’re not real though.
- Handcrafter Nightmares – A general EPK with some talking heads that tell of the sequel, what’s different/better and so forth.
The Bottom Line
To quote Bart Simpson “I didn’t think it was possible, but this both sucks and blows.” Well said, Bart. At no point in this film was I the least bit entertained or scared. I had trouble following what paper thin semblance of a plot there was and couldn’t wait for it to be over. That said, Warner’s disc (for those that actually do like the film) offers up a top notch transfer with a nice Dolby Atmos soundtrack. If this movie is your thing, it’s a solid offering.