'The Nun 2' strives for innovation amidst familiar tropes | The Haunted Column

The Nun 2
'The Nun 2', while maintaining a thematic connection to the first instalment, unfolds in a new, chilling setting. Photo: IMDb

The highly anticipated horror film 'The Nun 2,' featuring Taissa Farmiga, has finally arrived in theatres, stirring immense excitement among horror enthusiasts eager to witness the sequel's unfolding narrative. However, questions lingered about whether the sequel would seamlessly pick up from its predecessor. 'The Nun 2', while maintaining a thematic connection to the first instalment, unfolds in a new, chilling setting.

In the initial chapter, Sister Irene (played by Taissa Farmiga) successfully banished the malevolent demon nun, Valak (Bonnie Aarons), but the entity found refuge within Maurice (Jonas Bloquet). Given the ominous fate that awaits Maurice in 'The Conjuring' universe, viewers were left wondering how this storyline would conclude. The trailer for 'The Nun 2' hints at a resolution for Maurice, yet the mystery remains: What sinister plans does Valak have in store, now that it has possessed him?

From a visual standpoint, 'The Nun 2' undoubtedly surpasses its predecessor, offering a more compelling cinematic experience. However, when it comes to the narrative, it stumbles into a somewhat disarrayed territory, prompting one to ponder whether this sequel was truly warranted. Following the chilling events of 'The Nun,' viewers have traversed numerous horror clichés, leading to a sense of predictability in Valak's scare tactics.

Valak, while retaining its iconic malevolence, disappointingly remains a one-dimensional presence, serving primarily as a device to elicit scares from the audience. What's lacking is an exploration of Valak's intriguing backstory, leaving viewers craving a deeper understanding of this demonic entity. Instead, Valak's modus operandi involves possession, eerie corridors, and lurking behind individuals—elements that have become familiar through previous prequel instalments.

Some of the scares are well-executed, and the decision to shift the story from Romania to France was a smart choice. However, beyond the performances of Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, and Bonnie Aarons, the addition of actors like Anna Popplewell doesn't fully tap into their potential.

Taissa Farmiga shines in her role, anchoring the movie with a fantastic performance. The plot revolves around Sister Irene's quest to locate Maurice and thwart Valak, who continues its sinister activities. While the horror elements build anticipation effectively, they fall slightly short of expectations. As an audience, we anticipate Valak's appearance, but the film lacks a seamless transition from these moments of terror to the rest of the narrative. It feels like a collage of horror and regular scenes rather than a cohesive blend.

The conclusion of 'The Nun 2' hints at the possibility of a third sequel, but there's a concern that it might disappoint unless it ventures into innovative ways to terrify the audience. Valak, the demon, should play a more central and active role rather than remaining in the background. The true essence of horror films lies in pushing the boundaries and introducing fresh techniques, rather than relying solely on familiar horror tropes.

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