The Nun 2 vs. The Exorcist: Believer: Which One Should You Watch?

2023 has been quite entertaining for horror movie fans. Two of the most anticipated films of the year have hit theaters this year – The Exorcist: Believer and The Nun 2. Both films are part of iconic supernatural franchises, so viewers naturally have high expectations from them.

But it would not be an easy choice if you had to choose one film out of the two as the better film. But it is a matter of preference. If you want a classic horror film with many jump scares, The Nun 2 is the better choice for you. But if you want more of a suspense thriller with a dash of the supernatural, The Exorcist: Believer wins.

Having said that, I don’t think either of the film lives up to its expectations. One might be better than the other in certain departments, but neither film is a must watch, even if you love horror. Both have too many cons to be considered as good films.

For your convenience, I’ve put down the pros and cons of both films so you can choose based on what you’re looking for. Just make sure you don’t watch either of the films alone at night!

1. The Exorcist: Believer: Pros and Cons

The Exorcist: Believer is a sequel to the 1973 classic The Exorcist. It is set in the same universe and revolves around the demon from the original movie.

The Nun 2 or The Exorcist: Believer: which film is better?
The Exorcist: Believer | Source: IMDb

This time, the demon has possessed two young girls, and the story is all about how they save the girls. The plot is quite cliché, but the film has more depth compared to The Nun 2.

Here are the pros and cons of The Exorcist: Believer:

1. Pros

First of all, if you’re a fan of the 1973 classic, watching Believer would be a good idea since it pays homage to the original film. It also has the uncanny feeling that made the original film a smash hit.

Secondly, Believer is a much better film in terms of depth and build-up. There is a lot of suspense in the film, and the characters have more layers to it compared to the characters in The Nun 2. The performances of Leslie Odom Jr. and Ellen Burstyn deserve a special mention for sure.

The use of atmosphere is commendable in the film as well. For instance, Believer uses silence, dark spaces, and misdirection to create a sense of fear, which works for the film.

In other words, if you prefer to watch more a psychological horror thriller with some depth, Believer is a better choice compared to The Nun 2. The plot of the film is conventional, but its treatment might be enjoyable to you if you like the genre.

2. Cons

I think I’ve already mentioned it one way or the other, but the biggest con for a horror film is the lack of uniqueness. The Exorcist: Believer offers almost nothing new, with a cliché plot and similar instances as the original film. While it is true that the psychological approach to it is commendable, it still might not be enough to call the film a good start to a trilogy.

Secondly, it is much less scary compared to The Nun 2. If you want to watch a typical horror film like The Conjuring or Babadook with a number of jump scares, The Exorcist: Believer is not the best choice.

It is also not exactly an entertaining film. As I already mentioned above, there are elements to enjoy in terms of the use of atmosphere. But it is not exactly the kind of film that appeals to the masses when it comes to horror – a scary protagonist, numerous jumpscares, and spooky spirits all around.

2. The Nun 2 : Pros and Cons

The Nun 2 is a direct sequel to The Nun, a spin-off of the Conjuring films. It has a huge benefit when it comes to the franchise it is a part of, as most of the films in the franchise are big hits. The Conjuring movies are best known for fulfilling the purpose of horror films – they scare the hell out of you.

The Nun 2 or The Exorcist: Believer: which film is better?
The Nun 2 | Source: IMDb

The Nun 2 is no different. It focuses on the origin story of Valak, the demonic nun from the previous films. In the sequel, a group of investigators go to Romania to find out about an ancient convent where Valak lives.

1. Pros

The Nun 2 is actually a much better film than its predecessor, The Nun, and has been loved by critics and viewers alike. First of all, the film is scary, has a number of well-shot action scenes, and the setting of the film is much more fun to watch than The Exorcist: Believer. The Gothic aesthetics work in favor of the film.

Secondly, the story is not as cliché as Believer. There is a common element in all horror films, but the ones that stand out have a certain unique element in them. Valak, the main demon in the story, is quite unique and has more personality than the demon in Believer. In terms of the plot, The Nun 2 has a big advantage over Believer.

Thirdly, the humor in The Nun 2 deserves a special mention. These elements make the film much more enjoyable compared to Believer. Moreover, the Gothic aesthetic adds to the theme of the film and makes the jumpscares land better.

2. Cons

The Nun 2 lacks in areas such as character development and depth. There is not much to analyze in the film compared to Believer. The characters do not have too much depth to them. For instance, I feel they did not explore the character of Valak as much as they should have.

Moreover, there are some plot holes in the film. It did not bother me personally, but a more loyal fan of the franchise might be disappointed with such inconsistencies. For example, the ending of The Nun 2 contradicts the timeline of The Conjuring franchise. Valak is still alive and kicking in the movie set after The Nun 2, so the ending does not explain how he survives.

It also does not explain how Maurice died, the purpose of the relic of Saint Lucy, why Valak needs it, and how Irene is related to both Saint Lucy and Lorraine Warren. It is also not clear how she gets the power to defeat Valak.

The Nun 2 could have done better as a franchise film, although these aspects do not make a difference if you watch it as a standalone film.

3. Which Film is Better: The Nun 2 or The Exorcist: Believer?

Both The Nun 2 and The Exorcist: Believer have their pros and cons. But after considering all factors, I think neither of the films are a must watch. If I had to choose one on gunpoint, I would probably go for The Nun 2.

If we go by the ratings and reviews, The Exorcist: Believer has 22% critics score and a 59% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Instead, The Nun 2 has 52% critics and 73% audience scores.

The IMDb rating of The Nun 2 is 5.7/10, while The Exorcist Believer has a score of 5.1/10. While these ratings do not determine the quality of a film, it is a good indicator of the public opinion.

Nevertheless, which film is the right choice depends on your preference. If you ask me, skip both and watch better films in the genre. But if there’s a lot of peer pressure and you want to catch one of these two, go for The Nun 2.

4. About The Exorcist: Believer

The Exorcist: Believer is a 2023 American supernatural horror film directed by David Gordon Green and written by Green and Peter Sattler, from a story by Scott Teems, Danny McBride, and Green.

The sixth installment in The Exorcist franchise, it serves as a direct sequel to the original 1973 film, while disregarding all previous installments. The film stars Leslie Odom Jr., Ann Dowd, Jennifer Nettles, Norbert Leo Butz, Lidya Jewett, and Olivia Marcum (in her film debut), along with Ellen Burstyn reprising her role from the original film as Chris MacNeil.

The Exorcist: Believer is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on October 6, 2023. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, who collectively believe the film did not reach the height of the original film.

5. About The Nun 2

The Nun 2 is an upcoming American supernatural horror film directed by Michael Chaves and written by Akela Cooper. It serves as the sequel to The Nun (2018) and the ninth installment in The Conjuring Universe franchise, as well as the fourth film in terms of chronology. 

James Wan and Peter Safran will be returning to co-produce the project, with Judson Scott also serving as a producer. Bonnie Aarons and Taissa Farmiga were confirmed to reprise their roles as Valak and Sister Irene, respectively, with Storm Reid cast as the new lead.

The film is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema in the United States on September 8, 2023.

Pratyasha Sarkar

Pratyasha Sarkar

Officially a student of literature, but unofficially a defence lawyer of fictional characters. I am mostly either feasting on chocolate chip cookies or binge watching sitcoms. Also, I firmly believe mint ice cream tastes like toothpaste.


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