HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Sinister 2
HTS Overall Score:74
R-rated horror movies are almost a rare commodity these days. So much so that I really relish seeing one come out amidst the sea of PG-13 horror movies that skimp on blood and gore to get the kiddie winks into the seats and fill out the theatrical profits. However, it’s never a good thing when the R-rated horror move turns out to be as bad as or worse than the watered down PG-13 films, despite the wonderful addition of blood, guts and gore. “Sinister” was actually a fun and slightly gory horror film that centered around a demon that we like to call “The Boogeyman” who comes and corrupts an innocent child, pulling them into the to the other side to feed his insatiable hunger. It was creepy, and gory, with some nasty jump scares along the way. It didn’t reinvent the genre, but was a fun little horror flick that I enjoyed quite a bit. “Sinister 2” takes a unique look at the same scenario, but from the children’s point of view this time, but unfortunately stumbles and falls due to lack of tension and poor writing.
For those who haven’t seen “Sinister” beware of spoilers. Last film we all got introduced to the creepy boogeyman who showed up in old film footage showcasing some horrible murders that happened in a house some years and decades ago. Ethan Hawke’s character discovered all of this footage only to discover that WATCHING the footage allows the demon to come into this world and somehow corrupt an innocent child into murdering their whole family and go back with the demon as part of his “food” so to speak. The ending was horrifying and rather disturbing (just right for those of us who love the macabre and desperation of a good horror film). This time we see the same cycle start all over, but this time we actually get to see HOW the demon influences the child as it is mainly told from its point of view.
We follow three distinct storylines that intersect in a new house of horror a few years after the incident from the first film. The deputy sheriff from the first movie (you remember, the one who helped out Ethan Hawke’s character with case files) is now an EX deputy, as he was thrown under the bus for helping out as he did. Now that he’s seen what he’s seen, the deputy is going around finding houses with similar stories and burning them down so as to stop the cycle of violence and killing. While getting ready to burn down the next house on his list he runs into some squatters in the form of a young mother and her two boys. After a tense standoff we come to find out that this woman, Courtney Collins (Shannyn Sossamon) is running from her very powerful husband who abused and beat her and the children for much of their marriage. Running out on him was easy enough, but he is a powerful man and the local cops are at his beck and call, so she has holed up in this seemingly abandoned church while she tries to hide out from her husband.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=62569[/img]Realizing that he can’t burn down the church, the Deputy tries to figure out which one of the boys will have the demon try and corrupt, as well as discover just HOW this demon does what he does. Simultaneously, we get to see just WHY the young child does what he does via the sweetest and most innocent of the two boys, Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan). It seems that the ghosts of the children that the demon takes has been appearing to him every night and enticing him to watch the same horrific videos that were seen in the first film (except this time pertaining to the church they are in). Dylan obviously doesn’t want to see the videos, but he’s being blackmailed by the ghosts as they terrorize him and his dreams every night if he doesn’t acquiesce to their hellish requests. All of these stories soon come to a head as the Demon is coming closer and closer to realizing his full power and claiming yet another soul.
I won’t say that “Sinister 2” is an utter failure of a sequel, as the concept of seeing the events through the “perpetrators” eyes is a nice concept, but the execution of said concept is really the sore spot. There’s some fun little bits with the deputy (played by James Ransone) and the abusive husband, but the rest is just a mess. The clichés are coming fast and heavy to the point that you can pretty much plot out the entire movie as it’s unfolding. Even the twist at the end wasn’t a twist as I saw it coming from the first 20 minutes of the movie. The monster was never more than a character in the films during the first movie, making him rather creepy and “sinister” (yes that was intentional), but here he seems to be a bit more active and loses some of that startling terror. Even the kill videos weren’t as “jump” oh my goodness!!! As before. This time they are a LOT more gruesome and almost cringe worthy as you wince from the nastiness (which has an appeal all its own)
Ethan Hawke and the ability to keep you guessing was what really kept the first “Sinister” movie from being a dull horror flick. The jump scares weren’t that great, but Ethan Hawke’s intensity was palpable and the uncertainty was a nice touch. As with so many sequels, “Sinister 2” explains just a bit too much and lacks the good acting of the original. The deputy and Courtney were pretty good, but the child actors combined with poor storytelling just fell a bit flat. As much as I’d like to blame it on the actors, I really can’t, being that it’s very hard to ascertain their skills when they are given so little to work with.
Rated R for strong violence, bloody and disturbing images, and language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=62577[/img]Shot completely digitally, “Sinister 2” is a very polished looking film that is just BATHED in shadows. There are some daylight scenes here and there, but much of the film is swathed in darkness as Dylan watches the horrifying videos one by one and the deputy researches the origins of the evil boogeyman. There is a distinct teal blue color grading done to the film, one that complements the darkness quite well, despite the heavy shadows engulfing the movie. Outdoor shots are razor sharp and full of fine detail, while the darkness is a little less detailed. There is a bit of crush that permeates the image and robs us of just a little bit of detail. Just enough to keep it from looking really amazing. The last kill video in the corn maze stands out as the best of the darkness shrouded scenes, with minimal crush and a goodly amount of flickering flames to keep the ambiance.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=62585[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track on the disc for “Sinister 2” is an AGGRESSIVE beast of a track that relishes on pounding you into your seat with downbeat after downbeat loaded hot and heavy with LFE. The movie ripples with power and ferocity from the very get go, with a deep rumbling LFE track that just doesn’t let up the entire movie. Every scene of terror is filled with heavy wallops of deep bass that reverberate throughout the whole movie. Dialog is strong, with consistent vocal support that is well balanced with the rest of the track (including the almost overbearing waves of LFE that accompany them). Surrounds are incredibly active with all sorts of creaking and groaning of old boards, as well as the crashing and destruction of the house when the full battle for survival begins.
• Extended Kill Films (Blu-ray Exclusive)
• Deleted Scenes
• Time to Watch Another: The Making of "Sinister 2"
• Feature Commentary with Director Cirian Foy
“Sinister 2” isn’t a total waste, as there is some really creepy kill videos, and the concept of seeing it through the turned children’s eyes is rather novel. However, the movie cannot escape the mediocre writing and clichés that abound in the film. The kill scenes are creepy and deliciously delightful, but the compounding 90 out of 97 minutes that are slogged through to get to those scenes really don’t make it very worthwhile to get to unless you’re bored. It MIGHT work as a cheap rental, but as a fan of “Sinister” I have to say that it’s more worthy of a skip.
Starring: James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan
Directed by: Ciaran Foy
Written by: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 97 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: January 12th 2016
Buy Sinister 2 On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
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