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The Nun II movie review: Taissa Farmiga starrer is strictly for fans of Conjuring universe

It says something about a film when the most work in it is done by a dead nun. Hats off to Aarons for soldiering on, where in film after film in the Conjuring universe, all the role requires her to do is scowl in the shadows or come shrieking out of the same.

None though has required her to do this as many times as in this film.

A sequel to The Nun, Part II has Sister Irene again fighting the demon while religiously treading the path of God. Or rather that of stern Cardinals, who sweep in on fancy cars and command the services of scared nuns to drive out evil forces, which have been leaving a string of horrible deaths.

The demon escaped last time, despite Irene’s best efforts, by entering the form of the good Maurice (Bloquet). This would be heart-breaking, but for the fact that plonking the handsome fellow in a boarding school full of teen-ish girls and little oversight is enough invitation for the devil to work his way.

Deaths have followed Maurice since last time, and The Nun II could have been served well by gradually building up the horror – for example – within the walls of the aforesaid boarding school. It is 1956, and the school has suffered WWII bombings. So it’s a miracle in itself that it has managed to keep those girls, though the money appears to have run out when it came to hiring teachers. There are only two: Kate (Popplewell), with her daughter Sophie (Downey), and a frowning Principal.

Not surprisingly, Maurice and Kate make their way towards each other, serenaded by a happy Sophie, who dotes on him, including the French ballads Maurice plays on his gramophone.

So, anyway, via Maurice, the dreaded Nun as in the demon has made her way into the dark corridors, flimsy windows, discarded chapels and deserted wings of the boarding school.

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Taissa Farmiga slogs, frowns, says her prayers, wields her rosary, and generally does her best to show herself up to the task of standing up to the demon, helped at times by a poor understudy (Reid), who frequently finds herself the object of the demon’s scar-a-minute tricks.

But Taissa’s bigger struggle is not against what is seen – or even that is sometimes seen. It’s the One who is absent but yet omnipresent in the Conjuring universe: her elder sister Vera Farmiga.

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The Nun II movie director: Michael ChavesThe Nun II movie cast: Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Storm Reid, Anna Popplewell, Katelyn Rose Downey, Bonnie AaronsThe Nun II movie rating: 1.5 stars

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