It is important to note that Sinister 2 begins right where the first movie left off. If you haven’t seen the first one you will be pretty lost for a good portion of this film. I have seen the original multiple times and I was a little lost myself. That is an entirely different issue, however.
This movie centers around a single mother (Shannyn Sossamon) and her twin boys (played by real life twins Dartanian and Robert Daniel Sloan) who move into an old farmhouse where a gruesome murder took place years ago. Ex-Deputy So & So (James Ransone) stumbles upon the family as he is investigating the strange occurrences surrounding the death of the writer Ellison Oswalt and his family.
The thing that made the first movie work so well was that the family drama that set the backdrop for all the scary stuff really worked. You cared about the family and what happened to them. This movie tries to do the same thing except this time it doesn’t work nearly as well. I personally didn’t care about the characters at all which took the tension out of the film. The whole thing feels quite contrived. It feels like just what it is; a device by which to inject the scares into the film. Also, with the mystery of Bughuul no longer intact, the film is far less interesting. They tried to take a different approach to the story which I respect, but it just didn’t work for me.
The acting in the film leaves a lot to be desired. Shannyn Sossamon is ok, but I’ve always thought she was overrated. James Ransone was good in a supporting role in Sinister but he is not leading man material. All of the supporting actors were bad except for Lea Coco, who played the villainous husband, pulling strings to get back custody of his sons. Although Coco did a pretty good job, his character was flat and unrealistic.
The star of the first movie was, without a doubt, the 8mm footage. These scenes provided some of the most disturbing imagery I have ever seen in a movie. That is one thing that this sequel got right. It is true that these scenes are more elaborate and contrived than in the first movie but I think they had to be that way in order to live up to what was expected here. They certainly exceeded my expectations in this area. While I would agree that these segments don’t have the same unexpected emotional punch that they did in the first movie (which is not entirely the fault of the movie), I would say that these are more disturbing overall.
Ciaran Foy (Citadel) did not impress me as the director of this film. There was too much shaky cam stuff. One scene in the climax of the movie is really hard to watch because of the camera work. There was also a lot of stupid things happening that would never happen in real life. It felt like this movie took a lot of shortcuts. The ending of the movie is overly convoluted with way too much going on, most of which makes no sense.
This movie is nowhere near as good as the first Sinister. It’s not laughably bad, but it is not good either. If this is your genre, as it is mine, it might be worth seeing when it comes out in Redbox. I wouldn’t advise paying theater prices to see it. I hoped for more from this, but ultimately got about what I expected. The Movie Man gives it 2.5 out of 5 stars.
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