To begin with, I'm not exactly sure what the correct title of this slasher is. I was sent the screener under the name Awakening the Nun, the film itself has The Bad Nun 2 as the title card, but the film's IMDB page has it listed as The Watcher 2. Elsewhere the image used on IMDB for it has it called Bad Nun: Deadly Vows. What I do know for sure is that this was co-directed by Rebecca Matthews (Witches of Amityville Academy) and Scott Jeffrey (The Watcher) and that the screener I received wasn't a complete version of the movie. It appeared that all that was really missing here were visual effects, sound effects and some music, but due to the absence of these I have decided to treat this as a preview. Spoilers of The Watcher to follow.
A family, that includes Pamela (Nicola Wright - Witches of Amityville Academy), her daughter Mandy (Stephanie Lodge - Witches of the Water), and her daughter's daughter Catherine (Sarah T. Cohen - Witches of Amityville Academy also) move into an old farmhouse out in the country to start afresh. It is not long however before they begin to be hassled by a mysterious figure who claims to be a nun. At first this nun leaves threatening messages, but it isn't before long until she starts to resort to murder. Could it be related to a similar situation that took place in the area 4 years previously, or is there a far closer connection to the family's past?
This begins in familiar slasher sequel fashion with the final girl from The Watcher being murdered in the pre-credits intro sequence. Despite not having seen the first film I don't feel like I missed out on much. A couple of characters relate the events of that movie, a policeman in particular goes in depth as to who the killer was, what he did, and why it couldn't possibly be him this time around (during the events of the film he is residing in prison). With the heroine of that movie dead there are no loose ends and so this can tell its own story. The killer looks the part, obviously dressed up as a nun, with a black mask covering their face, and hulking in size. The killers weapon of choice is a large pair of scissors. Reminding me a bit of Scream, as the killer also talks quite a lot. I'm not sure if the voice used in the copy I received is going to be the one in the completed release but it sounded like that of a young woman. By the way the killer speaks she sounds like she sees her victims as sinners, people deserving of death.
Apparently the first film wasn't that great. I haven't seen it myself, but I did read a few reviews where it was described as quite dull. I expected this might be the same but there is a lot going on. Usually at least something is happening ever ten minutes or so, there were no long moments of down time with which the film could lose its momentum. I didn't really get why the killer felt the need to start off slowly, leaving notes and messages. They must be a competent lock picker as they always seem to get access to the various houses they go to really easily. With only a handful of characters out of the main cast it doesn't really take too much deduction to work out who it is, but the why is the more interesting part here. The story goes to some dark places with nothing as black and white as it first appears to be. The various murders are not that varied in how they play out but there was still a higher body count than I expected there to be, which was nice.
As a low budget indie horror I didn't find this that bad, there were some nice story moments, and there is enough going on that I never got bored. It might have been nicer to get some more bloody kills, and more inventive ones, but the lack of blood could possibly be down to not having the VFX added. The Watcher 2 is due for release this year thanks to High Fliers Films.