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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Nun II (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


Sister Irene returns to battle evil as a malevolent demon begins killing priests in 1956 France.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Directed by Michael Chaves (The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It), The Nun II arrives as a continuation of the 2018 film of the same name. In 1956 France, a malevolent evil is spreading death and chaos. When a priest dies in a manner no believes was natural, the Church reaches out to Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) to investigate as she is the only experienced person owing to her surviving the the events at Saint Cartha’s monastery. Her investigation, with the assistance of a novitiate (Storm Reid), takes her to a boarding school where deaths are occurring and the demonic nun Valak who is looking for a relic.

The atmosphere and staging of the film are engaging from the beginning, with the period setting, the dark lighting and warm glow of lights. The action takes off slowly, but Chaves draws the viewers in with jump scares that are overused in interesting and scary scenarios, like a phantom newsstand on dark street that suddenly starts flipping through all the pages of the periodicals to deliver an ominous message, or the sudden shattering of a jug of wine in a dark cellar. Farmiga carries each scene with a nuanced, believable performance.

The Nun II is never able to overcome some of its flaws, even as it tries as hard as it can to build a narrative surrounding the characters in the film. Sister Debra, for instance, is introduced with a solid backstory and as a young woman doubting her faith, but none of this comes into play in the story arc. In the end, Chaves relies more on action, gore, and the innumerable jump scares to keep the pace up and make the film as scary as possible.

The Nun II 4K
  • Taissa Farmiga in The Nun II (2023)
  • Katelyn Rose Downey in The Nun II (2023)
  • Taissa Farmiga in The Nun II (2023)
  • The Nun II 4K Ultra HD + Digital (Warner Bros.)
  • The Nun II 4K Ultra HD + Digital (Warner Bros.)

The Video

The Nun II was shot on the Sony CineAlta Venice 2 with Panavision E-, G- and T-Series lenses in the AXS-R7 4K format. The film is presented in a 2.40:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) HDR10 encodement. The moody, shadowy image of the film often tilts toward a warm, sepia tone palette. The glow of lighting and fires does not necessarily look much brighter from the Dolby Vision grading, but they are more colorful and have a good amount of specular highlight ‘pop.’ Shadows are very nuanced and extended. The overall detail and look of the imagery has a very filmic and organic feel even though it is all digital.

The Audio

The English Dolby Atmos mix for The Nun II is superb. The overhead speakers carry an abundance of discrete sounds, especially in the third act where we are treated to the sound of thumps and footsteps moving around over us. In the first two acts, the mix is a bit more subtle, panning atmospheric effects and ambience through the surrounds and overheads. Even in these parts of the film, however, we get greatly extended low-end effects during the plentiful jump scares. By the final act, where the action kicks into overdrive, there is big low end, and more aggressive, dynamic use of effects.

The Supplements

The Nun II is a barebones release with only two very brief EPK-style featurettes and a digital code. There is no Blu-ray included and no audio commentaries.

Bonus Features:

  • Movies Anywhere Digital Code
  • The Nun II: Demon in Paradise (1080p; 00:05:04)
  • Handcrafted Nightmares (1080p; 00:07:02)

The Final Assessment

This entry in The Conjuring universe feels flat and forced even as there are moments that seem inspired. Despite some flaws, horror fans will find a lot to indulge in with The Nun II. The 4K Ultra HD is brilliantly done and ranks as one of the best looking and sounding contemporary horror films on home video this year.

The Nun II is out on 4K Ultra HD + Digital November 14, 2023, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The Nun II 4K
  • Rating Certificate: R (for violent content and some terror.)
  • Studios & Distributors: New Line Cinema | Atomic Monster | The Safran Company | Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
  • Director: Michael Chaves
  • Written By: Ian Goldberg | Richard Naing | Akela Cooper
  • Run Time: 110 Mins.
  • Street Date: 14 November 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: HDR10
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 691 nits
    • MaxFALL: 137 nits
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible)
  • Secondary Audio: English DD 5.1 | English Audio Description | French DD 5.1 | Spanish DD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH | French | Spanish

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Sister Irene returns to battle evil as a malevolent demon begins killing priests in 1956 France. The Nun II (4K UHD Review)