Back in 2012, director Scott Derrickson conjured up one of the underrated gems of that year in ‘Sinister’. I always have huge respect for a director/screenwriter that delivers a fresh and original feel to a horror/thriller film. The use of Super 8 footage to show Ethan Hawke’s character these brutal murders added that depth of secrecy around the ghoulish killer Bughuul. Throughout ‘Sinister’, Ethan Hawkes character is incredibly alone and that loneliness resonates through the film; and for me, that’s what made it an incredibly effective film. Obviously, the film was a hit and made a ton of money on a pretty small budget. Calls for a sequel were made, and subsequently we are here talking about ‘Sinister 2’.
Following on from the events of ‘Sinister’, Deputy So-and So is back in the sequel and is as much as a bumbling idiot as he is in the first film. Kicked off the police force after being suspected of the murder of Ethan Hawke’s character, he decides to become a private investigator and dives into the mysterious cases behind these murders. Destroying the houses that could potentially be part of a chain of the murders, he discovers one house currently has a family living inside. Here we meet Courtney Collins, a single mother who has recently left her husband and has taken her twin boys Dylan and Zach. Both boys from the start can see the ghosts of little children that have been taken by Bughuul. The ghosts of the children attempt to get the boys to watch their ‘home videos’ hoping for the boys to turn and subsequently ‘make their own home movie’.
As I’ve covered before, the loneliness that was evident in ‘Sinister’ was the most effective point in the film. Obviously wanting to go in a new direction, I never got that same feeling watching ‘Sinister 2’, and that made me incredibly disappointed. There wasn’t a point where I felt scared or even creeped out. The one thing that I did find interesting is that the sequel decided to show the audience another side to the story; and that’s through the kids who are tempted to kill their family. Both kids Dylan and Zach communicate a lot to the ghosts of the kids and even though that makes it an interesting aspect of the film, it’s also its downfall too. ‘Sinister 2’s downfall is its lack of decent acting; the kids are okay, but that’s about it. There are moments that could be borderline cringe worthy; Ethan Hawke was one of the biggest shining lights in ‘Sinister’ but the lack of a real class actor in the sequel allows this train to come off the tracks.
As much as I loved ‘Sinister’, it’s a story that’s only effective the first time round; the more you play with it, the most ineffective everything will become. Bughuul isn’t as mysterious as he is in the first film, and that’s my biggest problem with ‘Sinister 2’. Missing a strong leading actor, the misuse of Bughuul throughout the film are the two big stumbling blocks for ‘Sinister 2’, and unfortunately, these two key elements is crucial in its downfall. 2.5 out of 5 stars for ‘Sinister 2’.