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Return Of The Nun

Image courtesy of Flickr.

What’s better than starting your binge-watching marathon of horror films close to Halloween? Once October comes back around, the thrills return with the classic horror movies, while rolling out new scary films as well. Five years ago, one of the biggest horror movies of 2018, “The Nun,” directed by Corin Hardy, was released, quickly gaining immense popularity. This October, it makes its way back to us with the new director, Michael Chaves, welcoming us to “The Nun II.”

To understand “The Nun II,” one must first understand the first movie in the duology. So what exactly is the story of this horror film? It’s important to learn about the antagonist, the Nun, also known as Valak. This character has a deep background to this film that many viewers didn’t catch. The truth behind the Nun is that Valak, the demon, wasn’t actually a nun himself; in fact, Valak took the form of a nun as an affront to God. The demon’s goal was to mock the faith of the nuns who were trying to stop him from spreading evil. In the original film, the Nun is shown as a malevolent force that preys on religious individuals; it’s said that Valak was once an angel, but was cast out of heaven and became evil and demonic. 

Before the first movie was created, you will see that Valak had been around long before. Valak is known by its several alternative titles including the Nun, and the Crooked Man. He is the overall main antagonist in “The Conjuring” and “Annabelle: Creation.” In the Conjuring series, Valak is an angel who was rejected by God and sent to hell where he was later summoned, causing chaos and destruction in the small town of Harrisville. The Annabelle, Conjuring, and Nun films all interlink with each other, incorporating various parts of their individual plots into the other films, creating a complicated, interlinking timeline. This is how the character we know of in “The Nun,” came to be.

Although Valak is a prominent character in “The Nun,” he is not what determines or drives the storyline. The original Nun movie takes place in Romania in 1952. The main characters, Sister Irene, Father Burke, and “Frenchie,” enter a monastery to investigate the death of a nun, who was found on the front steps. Throughout their time in the monastery, they uncover many mysterious pasts and clues, eventually leading them to discover Valak, in the form of a nun. After seemingly destroying Valak, the three leave the monastery, sealing it to ensure no other evil may enter and escape. However, in the ending scene an upside down cross appears on the back of Frenchie’s neck, implying that Valak is still alive and possessing Frenchie. This leaves it open for a second film to continue the story line. The nun returns in the sequel, which takes place in 1956 France. The story begins similarly to the original, with the characters finding a priest murdered. Following this, Sister Irene begins to investigate once again, leading her to face Valak once more. 

“The Nun” is a great film for a movie night, and with its sequel now in theaters, it’s a perfect duology to kick off the spooky Halloween season. “The Nun II” is available for viewing in Celebration Cinema and AMC theaters.

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