I was super excited to see Sinister 2, the sequel to the surprisingly good first Sinister, even though it didn’t see the return of director Scott Derrickson and star Ethan Hawke. Overall, Sinister 2 is decent but it doesn’t match up to first one at all and it’s highly due to the lack of good direction and star power. There are things I like in this movie and I could see what they were going for but it ultimately falls flat like most horror movies of this era, unfortunately. Before I get into detail on the film, check out the synopsis below to get an understanding of the story.
A young mother and her twin sons move into a rural house that’s marked for death.
There’s not much to take from this synopsis so I would probably watch the trailer above as well in order to get a better understanding of where this movie picks up after the first one. It’s evident that Sinister 2 heavily involves the children and how they’re connected to the “The Ghoul” which was a big reveal in the first movie. This is one aspect of the movie that worked for me. Once I realized that “The Ghoul” (or the Boogeyman) lures the children into his “realm”, or whatever they call it, in the first movie I was fascinated with this idea and was left wanting to learn more. Sinister 2 dives deep into this mythology and it was cool to see how the children get turned by “The Ghoul” and how they’re actually the one’s killing their families in the “death videos” (I’ll call them) and end up being the missing child in each case. This concept is so interesting to me and I was glad to see it explored more in this sequel.
Another good thing in Sinister 2 is the “death videos” themselves! I don’t know what it is about seeing an entire innocent family get brutally murdered that appeals to me but I’ve got to admit I really dig these scenes. They’re unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and they are taken to the extreme in Sinister 2! Whenever I knew one of these videos were getting ready to be shown I got excited to see in what creative way each family would be killed. I can’t talk much more about the “death videos” without spoiling but all I can say is DAMN! Be ready for some crazy stuff (I want to use another S-word here but I’m trying to keep it clean).
I also really enjoyed actress Shannyn Sossamon and her performance in this movie. Sometimes even a mediocre film can be saved by a great performance and that is pretty much the case with Sossamon and her role as the mother of the two troubled twins. Whenever she’s on screen she demands attention with her presence as she’s really believable in the role and brings a dramatic element to the table when some of the other performance weren’t very strong. She’s also drop-dead gorgeous, which doesn’t hurt.
Speaking of performances (aka my segue into the negatives) I did not buy actor James Ransone as the lead in the film. He plays the ex-deputy who was in the first Sinister as the deputy who was trying to help Ethan Hawke’s character and he was great as a supporting role. However, they tried to make him the lead in this movie and I just didn’t feel like he could carry the movie while watching it. Some of his scenes, particularly the ones trying to be funny, felt so awkward to me. They tried to create some type of romantic bond between him and Sossamon’s character and it is so unbelievable as it comes out of nowhere and just didn’t feel right with their chemistry. I don’t think Ransone is a bad actor at all. I just think he needs to be put in the right, limited roles that fit his skill set.
One of my biggest problems with Sinister 2 is that it really wasn’t that scary. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few moments where I jumped up in my seat but other than those few jump-scares and a little creepiness in some of the build ups, the movie wasn’t scary overall and for a horror movie that’s a big failure. There was also a lot of convenient things that happen to the characters and specifically towards the end of the movie when most of the main character’s lives are in danger, of course the most likely person to die dies (sorry if that’s a spoiler) and this really bothered me! Don’t be afraid to do the non-cliche thing directors and writers!
Anyways, those are my thoughts on Sinister 2. Overall, not a bad film but not really a good movie either. It doesn’t do it’s job, which is to be scary, as a horror movie and the performances are hit or miss with the acting. I think if you liked the first Sinister, the “death videos”, and are interested in learning about the mythology of “The Ghoul” and the children then I think it is worth checking out. Other than that you could probably skip this one if you were on the fence about seeing it.
I give Sinister 2 a 6 out of 10.
What about you all? Have you seen Sinister 2? If so, what did you think? If not, will you be seeing it? Either way let us know in the comment section!