Five Great Nun Movies

What with the release of the Sydney Sweeney starring horror film “Immaculate” I thought it’d be a great occasion to list five great nun-centric movies you could watch before or after “Immaculate” this weekend. While the library of movies centering on nuns is vast and diverse, these are five that I particularly enjoy. 

School of the Holy Beast (1974)
Norifumi Suzuki’s erotic nunsploitation thriller centered on a young woman who becomes a nun to enter the Sacred Heart Convent to learn about the mysterious death of her mother years ago. While there she learns about all of the goings on within the convent walls including sex, rape, masochism, torture, perverted priests, and so much more. Suzuki’s direction is brilliant and under cuts what is an otherwise compelling film teeming with violence and perversion.

Ms. 45 (1981)
Abel Ferrera’s rape revenge thriller is a testament to the heinous environment that New York was in the eighties and how it sparks a woman’s violent crusade. As Thana, Zoe Lund is a young girl who is raped twice on the streets and decides to go looking for attackers with her 45. She inevitably descends in to insanity, dressing as a nun in the infamous climax, donning her 45 and opening fire in a Halloween party. It’s a grim and dark film, but a classic grindhouse gem.

Night of the Demons 2 (1994)
While not a nun movie per se, the sequel to Kevin Tenney’s eighties classic pairs our villain demon Angela up against a heroic Nun known as Sister Gloria. Jennifer Rhodes as Sister Gloria is a fearless, fun heroine who takes on all of the demons and goes in to battle against Angela when she takes on her ultimate serpentine form in the finale. Sister Gloria is an underrated often overlooked horror heroine in a great sequel. 

Nude Nuns with Big Guns (2010)
Joseph Guzman’s action exploitation indie is a great bit of nunsploitation involving Sister Sarah who is beaten and forced into prostitution by a vicious biker gang syndicate. When she escapes her kidnappers’ clutches, she arms herself to the teeth and trains herself in combat, taking down the entirety of the biker. Nude of course. The title does promise nude nuns with big guns and we get it in full force, but it’s also a fun grindhouse picture.

The Nun II (2023)
While I could take or leave the first “The Nun,” the follow up to the original is a very good sequel that enhances a lot of the first film’s shortcomings. The mystery is tighter, the terror is deeper, the atmosphere is better, and the nun Valak is scarier than ever. “The Nun II” emphasizes a lot more what Valak is capable of and what kind of omnipotent force of evil she can be and I hope a potential final outing gives us even more of her gravitas.