Personally I’ve never really been a big fan of horror films. That’s not because I’m scared or anything. Honestly I’m not. Look, I’m not scared alright! Anyway, horror films have just never really appealed to me.
But recently I watched 2012’s Sinister and was pleasantly surprised as the intriguing mystery filled storyline along with a few genuinely spine-tingling moments made me enjoy the film a lot more than I thought I would.
The first Sinister was about an author who discovers that an evil supernatural ancient being named Bughuul possesses children in order to slaughter their families by first making them watch old video footage of murders by kid killers under his spell. Then, once the families have moved house to escape Bughuul’s hauntings, the demented children go on to gruesomely but imaginatively dispatch their former loved ones.
The second Sinister picks up from where the first one left off as the brilliantly named former police deputy So-and-So (played by the returning James Ransone) attempts to prevent Buguul from corrupting more innocent kids.
His one man demon-stopping mission leads him to meet the Collins family; single mother Courtney (Shannyn Sossamon) and her two 9 year old twin sons, Zach (Dartanian Sloan) and Dylan (Robert Sloan). Unfortunately Dylan is nearly already under the influence of Bughuul as he is regularly visited by the demon’s evil legion of dead creepy children while the audience are left unsure as to whether his brother Zack can actually see them or not.
The previous film focused on the discovery of Bughuul’s sinister (hey give me a break, I’m a wannabe film critic, not a wannabe comedian) recruiting and killing methods. Sinister 2 delves deeper into the mythology introduced in the first film as we see how Bughuul works from the perspective of Dylan. This had the potential to be really frightening as what’s more frightening than lethal little ones, right?
Unfortunately Sinister 2 fails to produce anything seriously terrifying as it relies heavily on a few jump scares (fancy film terminology for things that make you, erm… jump). Now don’t get me wrong, the very first scare will definitely give you the chills but after that there’s nothing that will top that early hair-raising moment. And sadly the moments that can actually match the first jump scare are few and far between.
One of the previous Sinister’s strong points was the sense of thrilling tension that it built towards as the film was half murder mystery and half supernatural horror. Sinister 2 aims to be totally the latter, but it fails to hit the highs the first film reached when it focused on the supernatural.
The film does have some redeeming qualities though, mainly coming from the performances of the cast. Ransone is good as the bumbling Ex-Deputy So-and-So.
The roles of the bullying Zach and the softer Dylan are both played well by Dartanian and Robert Sloan. Shannyn Sossamon’s independent mother who runs away from her loathsome violent ex (played by Lea Coco) may impress. Credit should also be given to Lucas Zuman who plays the leader of Bughuul’s cursed kids, Milo, very well.
When Bughuul does pop up onscreen, he will offer brief sharp frights as his physical appearance of an even more mutated Michael Jackson along with his slow silent nature makes him an extremely intimidating character.
Despite the director of the first Sinister, Scott Derrickson (fun fact: he’ll be directing Marvel Studio’s Doctor Strange in November 2016) coming back for scriptwriting duties, him and new director Ciaran Foys are unable to make Sinister 2 match the qualities of its predecessor. Anyone who hasn’t seen the first Sinister will need to if they plan on watching the sequel as it relies a lot on the audience having watched the previous flick.
If you’re like me you won’t despise Sinister 2 but you won’t particularly enjoy it either. Those expecting to leave the film being petrified then may be disappointed as the scariest part of your cinema trip will probably be checking your bank balance after being ripped off for some popcorn. Sinister 2 scores a:
Check out the trailer here: