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FILM FACTS: 5 Things to Know About “The Nun II”

Unveil the historical backdrops, eerie details, authentic costumes, and character insights that make this horror sequel a must-watch.

Amid a landscape of horror films, “The Nun II” takes center stage. Emerging as a successor in suspense, “The Nun II” continues the spine-tingling narrative of “The Nun”—a cornerstone of the illustrious $2 billion “The Conjuring” Universe, which proudly celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Transporting audiences to the eerily atmospheric backdrop of 1956 France, the film unfurls a tapestry of disturbing mysteries and an omnipresent malevolent force. With fans on the edge of their seats, Sister Irene, masterfully embodied by Taissa Farmiga, prepares to face off once again against Valak, the dreaded demon nun. But there’s more to this tale than meets the eye.


Every frame is infused with meticulous detail, from ancient fabric manufacturing to subtle nods to legendary cinematic masterpieces. Whether you’re a dedicated horror enthusiast or simply enjoy a well-crafted cinematic experience, these ten intriguing facts about ‘The Nun II’ will surely deepen your appreciation and possibly ignite the urge for another viewing. Prepare to delve deeper into the haunting world of “The Nun II” and uncover secrets that may have eluded your initial gaze. Here are 10 film facts about “The Nun II” to further whet your appetite.

1) Historical Backdrops: How “The Nun II” Brought 1950s France to Life on Screen

The selection of filming locations was not just about visual appeal but a commitment to historical authenticity. The picturesque town of Aix-en-Provence was central to the film’s setting. The Chapelle de la Visitation Catherine de Sienne, a Baroque chapel constructed in the mid-17th century, became the cinematic representation of Tarascon Church. Erected in the mid-17th century, this architectural jewel has garnered attention not just for its artistic style but its status as a historical monument since 1924. Meanwhile, the Silvacane Abbey in La Roque-d’Anthéron, Bouches-du-Rhône with its storied past dating back to 1144, stood in for the Italian abbey, becoming the stage for multiple critical scenes. This former Cistercian monastery, nearly a millennium old, resonates with simplicity and the weight of history, which provided an apt setting. What’s even more fascinating is that despite its long history, the site saw major renovations only in the last few decades.

The Couvent des Prêcheurs in Aix-en-Provence, a 13th-century convent, was transformed into St. Mary’s Boarding School. It wasn’t just a shooting location but also became an operational hub, housing the production offices, makeup rooms, and more. Its intricate 1950s detailing was particularly impressive, from its ground floor courtyard garden to the art department’s creation of an old chapel inside a gymnasium, complete with frescoes and stained-glass windows.

Further enriching the film’s backdrop, the bustling Place des Martyrs de la Resistance offered a perfect setting for the entrance to St. Mary’s School, while the enchanting town of Tarascon provided a rich tapestry of cobbled streets for nighttime scenes. The production later transitioned to Provence Studios in Martigues, where more controlled environments were necessary for dramatic stunts and special effects.


These locations, each steeped in history, served as more than just sets. They breathed life into the narrative, creating a palpable connection between the audience and 1950s France.

2) Behind the Seams: Crafting Authentic Costumes

Costumes often breathe life into characters, but in “The Nun II”, they echo both authenticity and creativity. Take, for instance, Maurice’s vest made of hemp. This fabric is not just any cloth, but a time-honored weave with its roots deep in history. Sourced from Tissages d’Autan, the last-standing hemp weaver in France established in 1937, it exemplifies the sustainable traditions of Occitan.

Intriguingly, the Demon Nun’s outfit reveals the meticulous attention to detail. The signature wimple alone underwent over 20 iterations, a collaborative effort between costume designer Agnès Béziers, director Michael Chaves, and a skilled milliner to achieve perfection. This commitment to precision extends to the veils worn by Sisters Irene and Debra, who, as the film’s ‘Action Nuns,’ required veils that appeared flawless from every camera angle while allowing for unrestricted movement. For the sinister Demon Nun, the veil held particular importance. Collaborating closely with milliner Laurence Binet, they crafted a veil that was both eerie and intricately detailed, giving the malevolent entity its distinct identity.

In a fascinating blend of faith and fashion, Béziers referenced the 1952 Vatican dictate on nuns’ habits, particularly the prescribed 17 cm distance from the ground for the hems, enabling her to modernize the nun’s habits without compromising on authenticity. 

A special nod goes to the uniforms of St. Mary’s School. While Béziers initially visualized a distinctive brown checked linen for these outfits, it was discovered that the fabric had been retired by its manufacturer. Yet, the solution was a mix of determination and collaboration. Emblem Weavers, an Irish fabric manufacturer, resurrected the linen fabric specifically for this project, weaving an impressive 350 meters exclusively for “The Nun II” resulting in 70 uniforms. And over 100 pairs of shoes made both in France and the UK for the schoolgirls.

Lastly, the costuming process wasn’t without its peculiar occurrences. Odd coincidences surrounding the Demon Nun’s outfit, such as lost crosses and misdirected fabric orders, culminated in the costume department’s decision to cleanse their workspace with white sage and offer a bouquet of yellow flowers as a sign of respect. Perhaps a tacit acknowledgment of the powerful energies they were working with!

3) Eerie Details: Behind the Creepy Elements

Every horror film thrives on its creepy elements, and “The Nun II” is no exception. In making this chilling movie, the crew didn’t rely solely on special effects; they also harnessed some unsettlingly real details to enhance the film’s atmosphere.

One of the eeriest facts revolves around the authentic cockroaches that plague Madame Laurent, played by Suzanne Bertish. Instead of turning to CGI or fabricated props, propsmaster Alexis Imbert chose the real deal. How? By collaborating with an old prop house in Marseille, Maison Opera. This wasn’t your typical prop house transaction. Each week, the shop’s manager informed Imbert about the number of roaches captured, and they were then collected to make their appearance in the film.

Meanwhile, the film creatively paid homage to past cinematic masterpieces. The location of Sophie’s hiding place, played by Katelyn Rose Downey, directly references the belltower scene from Hitchcock’s iconic film, “Vertigo.” But in a thrilling twist, Sophie faces far more harrowing challenges than Judy Barton from Hitchcock’s classic. Facing a possessed Maurice, the menacing Demon Nun, and a perilous staircase, Sophie’s ordeal presents a fresh, heightened sense of suspense for the audience.

But not all creepy elements in the movie were of the supernatural kind. Filming in a region known for its exquisite goat cheese, the cast and crew often traversed a coastal highway frequented by wild goats. It was the unexpected yellow warning signs reading “Chevre Savage” (wild goat) that added a light, eerie humor to their commutes, reminding everyone of the unpredictable nature of filming in such a diverse location.

4) The Evolution of Sister Irene: Taissa Farmiga’s Insight into “The Nun II”

In her return as Sister Irene for “The Nun II,” Taissa Farmiga delves into a narrative filled with layers, relationships, and haunting backdrops. A significant focal point of her excitement is the profound depiction of empowered female characters. The story beautifully showcases the evolving relationship between Sister Irene and Sister Debra, played by the talented Storm Reid. This dynamic highlights two strong, independent women navigating challenges together, breaking away from typical cinematic tropes.

The atmospheric South of France serves as the main shooting location, adding a touch of authenticity and enhancing the eerie ambiance of the film. These locations, including Aix-en-Provence, Tarascon, and Marseille, not only transport the cast and crew but also promise to immerse audiences into the very heart of the story. The ’50s setting is further brought to life in the quaint alleyways of Tarascon and the costume designs, allowing Farmiga and others to truly feel a part of that era.

Collaboration emerges as a recurring theme, both on-screen and behind the scenes. Director Michael Chaves receives immense appreciation from Farmiga for his open, direct, and collaborative style. This partnership ensures the character of Sister Irene remains true to her origins, while also evolving naturally within the story.

A surprising and complex element of “The Nun II” is the relationship between Sister Irene and Maurice, played by Jonas Bloquet. This relationship tests Irene’s morals and decisions, as she’s caught between saving her friend and confronting the lurking evil within him.

5) Behind the Nun’s Habit

Jonas Bloquet’s Dual Role: Returning as Maurice, Jonas Bloquet explores the eerie setting of “The Nun II” in a school, amplifying the horror against Aix-en-Provence’s historic backdrop. Bloquet reveals the complexity of playing Maurice’s dual nature – the relatable “Frenchie” and his tormented side. In a twist, the film sees Maurice as the “squire in distress” with female characters rallying to his rescue.


Storm Reid’s Resilient Character: Storm Reid brings to life Sister Debra, a resilient young novitiate from Mississippi who’s had to face her own demons before tackling the supernatural ones. Born into challenging family circumstances, Debra’s path to becoming a nun wasn’t by choice but by necessity. With characters like Sister Debra, “The Nun II” not only promises supernatural chills but also powerful tales of human perseverance.

Anna Popplewell’s Fresh Perspective: Anna Popplewell, who stars as Kate, offers a fresh take on her character and the broader narrative of the film. Popplewell remarks on the refreshing portrayal of women in the film, noting a clear departure from traditional horror damsel-in-distress tropes. Instead, the film celebrates a host of strong female characters joining forces against evil. Her experience with co-stars, especially Taissa Farmiga and Storm Reid, makes for a harmonious set. Popplewell paints a picture of a film where horror meets depth, character, and a touch of feminism.

As the credits roll on “The Nun II,” it becomes clear that this film is more than just a sequel; it’s a meticulously crafted journey into the eerie depths of horror. From the historically rich backdrops to the authentic costumes, from the spine-tingling real-life details to the complex characters, every aspect has been carefully woven together to create a cinematic experience that lingers long after the lights come on. As fans prepare to revisit the haunting halls of the Abbey of St. Carta, it’s these film facts that add an extra layer of intrigue and appreciation for the dark world of Valak in 1950s France. So, whether you’re a die-hard horror enthusiast or simply seeking a well-crafted cinematic adventure, “The Nun II” promises to captivate, chill, and leave you craving more from “The Conjuring” Universe. Don’t miss out – check the screening times and prepare to immerse yourself in the world of Valak.

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The Nun II
Horror, Mystery
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