Anyone who has been following my reviews over the years already knows that I don’t necessarily have the best memory when it comes to remembering details from any kind of story — whether it be from books, comics, film, etc, — so it should be of no surprise that I really don’t recall much of what happened in the first Sinister movie. What I do happen to remember is that I really didn’t enjoy that film and was completely underwhelmed by it. Even with that said, I was eager to give Sinister 2, directed, this time around, by Ciaran Foy, a fair shot.
An ex-deputy turned private investigator (James Ransone, Sinister) continues his mission to stop the supernatural entity known around the world as Bughuul. His next stop forces him into the lives of Courtney (Shannyn Sossamon, 40 Days and 40 Nights, television’s Wayward Pines) and her two sons. Can he stop the boogeyman before he claims his next family of victims…?
This sequel to the 2012 Ethan Hawke-starrer picks up pretty much right where the last one left off. There is plenty of mention of the Oswalt family and James Ransone returns to his role as the ex-deputy who was working on the case with Hawke’s character… and who interestingly enough has no real name, simply being credited as “Ex-deputy So and So.” I actually like the fact that ‘So and So’ is back from the first film, as sequels with strong connections to the first while also creating an entirely new story tend to be my favorite. There was just the right amount of mention of the events from the first film, but the introduction of an entirely new family was a nice touch, if you ask me.
Sinister 2 features a pretty talented cast. The returning Ransone does a wonderful job as our hero, if you want to call him that, and the addition of Shannyn Sossamon was a welcomed one. Portraying the matriarch of a pretty broken family, Sossamon does a great job of trying to keep her family together, even though her son Zach seems to be displaying some pretty concerning behavior, following in the footsteps of his abusive father. Real life brothers, Dartanian and Robert Sloan, play the two boys, Zach and Dylan, respectively, and help to round out the great performances. The boys seem to fall into their roles naturally as Dylan is a victim of abuse and fear, while his brother Zach is essentially a bully who is a perfect fit for what the film’s bogeyman is looking for.
While the main attraction to this series may be the promise of the eerie, centuries old entity, Bughuul, there isn’t much of him to be seen. This may not be such a bad thing, however. Sinister 2 manages to throw enough creepiness our way with the inclusion of some pretty freaky spirits of the ‘missing children’ from previous families that have fallen victim to Bughuul. Everyone knows that kids in horror films are scary as hell, so there was really no need to overdo it with more screen time for the long-haired antagonist, making his few appearances that much more effective.
This film is not one that can be considered gory by any means, but it is still pretty damn explicit. Various home movies shown throughout the film display some pretty violent acts, proving just what kind of effect the demon has on his targets. Footage of electrocution and being buried alive are just some of the more shocking scenes, but they are also exactly what die-hard horror fans will be looking for with this one.
Sinister was admittedly not one of the most enjoyable films to sit through, but after watching this sequel, I’ve come to appreciate what the series is trying to do. Both films seem to be getting a lot of negative reactions, but I applaud the creativity and originality of its creators. Supernatural flicks have been done to death, but as soon as something new and exciting comes along, fans are the first ones to try to chop it down, before it can even gain momentum. I am a fan of Sinister 2, a film that seems to get everything right, and hope that it can breathe some new life into the series. I, for one, am truly excited about a possible third entry in the franchise, and I hope a lot more genre fans are, as well.
Included on the home release of the film are deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, and feature commentary with director, Ciaran Foy. Also, as a Blu-ray exclusive, those die-hard horror fans I was walking about earlier get to watch the ‘kill films’ in all of their extended glory! Be sure to pick up Sinister 2 on Blu-ray and DVD, officially on sale tomorrow, January 5, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
I give this one 4 rutabagas out of 5.