Cinematic Releases: Sinister 2

Oh look. Another horror sequel. Not enthused. 

"Shhhh. Stop telling people this sucks."
After the creepy, tensely atmospheric, and slightly popular Sinister hit theaters and made a little bit of money, the studio was hot and bothered to churn out a part two. Without the powerful Ethan Hawke and a messy script that makes almost no sense, Sinister 2 is another in a long line of horror sequels that fails to capture the essence or the evil energy that inhabited the original. This continuation is an abomination of sorts that takes all the horrific ideas of Sinister and tosses them in a funeral pyre of stagnation with an adult cast that can't act, two little boys that are unconvincing, and a story that never adds up. There is literally nothing to like about this sequel. Like most, this would have been better left alone.

Riding the coat tails of Insidious, 2012's Sinister brought a new evil villain to the screen. The baddie known as Bughuul was mostly hidden in the shadows, upping the creep factor and adding a visceral edge to the movie. Most horror fans will tell you that the best genre entries never show too much of the main antagonist, keeping them reclusive or only used as a dynamic edge to bring a heightened sense of dread and fear. Sinister 2 fails in that regard. The character is shown too way much and is cheapened by poorly rendered jump scares hampered by awful cinematography that leaves nothing to the imagination. Adding to the inability to make Bughuul scary this time around is the amplified use of the snuff videos. Unlike the original, the films don't do anything to move the story along. Despite the PG-13 rating, they're much more vile and disturbing this time, which also lends credence to my earlier claim. There's no good story here. The mystery is gone. Everything is done for baseline shock value. And it doesn't work. 

"Watching old porn in the basement
really creeps me out."
When your two main stars are the pretty looking but mostly lackluster Shannyn Sossamon and the non-emotive James Ransone, your end of summer horror flick has big troubles. These two add no substance to the feature as neither of them are ever convincing of the evil that surrounds them. With their support system being two boys that couldn't act their way out of a dingy haunted basement, this is a sad attempt at continuing this franchise. Not one of these actors ever pushes themselves to become the characters they're portraying, which also points a bloody finger at sophomore feature director, Ciaran Foy. Handing the reigns over to him was a dire misstep on the part of Blumhouse. 

Sinister 2 quickly vanquishes any hope that there might be a Sinister 3 that isn't a straight to streaming release. In fact, that's what this entire movie looks like. This has the appearance of the lowest of the low budget dregs of various horror streaming services. This is not a movie you want to drop your hard earned money on. If you must see it, do yourself a favor. Wait. It's really that bad. In the context of other sequels, this falls into the same category as The Exorcist II or any of The Lost Boys debacles. It's truly that terrible. Skip it. Or maybe watch it when it gets closer to Halloween since it will definitely be on blu-ray by then. 



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