Nowadays you just have to accept that the horror genre is mainly kept alive through sequels and remakes. With SINISTER 2 Now comes the sequel to the modern classic with which Scott Derrickson combined found footage and classic horror in 2012 and thus earned the respect of the entire horror film community. Can the sequel keep up? I’ll reveal it in my review.
The plot summary
In a secluded house, far away from civilization, Courtney (Shannyn Sossamon) feels safe with her sons Dylan and Zach (Robert and Dartanian Sloan). She is hiding there with the twins from her violent husband Clint (Lea Coco), who is hot on the heels of his family. However, Courtney has no idea of the real threat: the mysterious curse of the Bughuul lies on the old house, which ex-police officer So & So (James Ransone) has been on the trail of for years. But it’s too late for his plan to burn the house down: Bughuul already has Dylan’s dreams firmly in his claws…
Movie explanation of the ending
Director Scott Derrickson is an expert when it comes to combining different genre influences. In “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” he combined straightforward courtroom drama with exorcism horror. His “Deliver Us from Evil” turned out to be a dark “Seven”-style thriller that used the existence of supernatural forces to build suspense. And in Derrickson’s film, “Sinister,” which has been most appreciated by fans to date, not only demon horror, crime thriller and family drama merged into a harmonious whole, but also fiction and reality, found footage and HD recordings. That automatically makes you think of “Ring”: Gore Verbinski’s virtuoso spooky spectacle is still considered one of the most influential horror films of modern times, but also a prime example of the heights that once innovative film projects build up in relation to their sequels, which are mostly only reasonably satisfactory in terms of quality. A first indication that the same is true with “Sinister 2” is the fact that the author of the first part is not responsible for the film, but greenhorn Ciarán Foy (“Citadel”) Derrickson inherited the director’s chair. On the author side, however, everything stayed the same and so “Sinister 2” has both the DNA of the first film and new approaches. However, these only relate to the franchise itself, because despite an overall coherent horror experience, the innovative approach of the first film can only be felt in the beginning. “Sinister 2” is more straightforward and therefore far more average than one would have expected given the actually so creative premise.
Anyone who has seen “Sinister” knows that the only consequence for a sequel had to be to establish completely new main characters. After the book author and Bughuul researcher portrayed by Ethan Hawke did not survive the events of the first part, in “Sinister 2” only the cop, named Debuty So & So by Hawke’s character with a wink, remains to deal with the events of parts one and two connect. However, others become the main characters: Robert (“Hero of the Day”) and Dartanian Sloan (“About a Boy”) Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill’s script does a lot right. Although the authors arrange their film in time after “Sinister”, they take significantly more time for the past of the Bughuul and its victims, so that not only are open questions from part one answered, but the impression is repeatedly created that one has “ Sinister 2” is also often staged as a prequel. This is only beneficial for building the atmosphere. Added to this are the very grounded living conditions of the main characters. The two almost demonic twin boys, whose presence is reminiscent of the brothers from the Austrian psychological blender “Ich seh, ich seh”, and their mother Courtney (“Wayward Pines”) have already been hit by fate before the Bughuul appears. The family flees from the violent husband, so the mood doesn’t just get charged up from the moment the child-eater sneaks into the family home.
The remarkable acting of the young actors plays a key role in the dark atmosphere. In addition to the twins, the makers of “Sinister 2” are also including the Bughuul’s previous victims much more heavily in the story. The demon only appears very sporadically. The makers usually use this as a jump scare, of which “Sinister 2” has far more to offer than the first part. That’s a shame, because while the content of the characteristic home videos in “Sinister” already gave enough goosebumps, those responsible think they need to make the second part a little more energetic. The result: The videos in which the children wipe out their families under ultra-brutal circumstances outdo each other in their inventiveness and are not only the linchpin of the film, but also the highlights. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that many of the shock moments staged in between are too intentional and therefore cheaply staged. “Sinister 2” definitely has atmosphere – but instead of relying on it, director Ciarán Foy feels he has to emphasize its origins as a horror film with the help of tired jump scares. A pity.
With its crisp running time of less than 90 minutes (without credits) and the stylish eye for choosing the right setting, “Sinister 2” still manages to convince despite the compromises in relation to part one. Not only the actors and the arrangement of the home videos are responsible for this, but also the different continuation options. The fact that we have continued the first part, which we like to stand alone, makes us think about how the fates of the children and their families can be made even more gruesome, more creative and even more haunting in the future. While in “Sinister” they relied exclusively on the Super 8 medium to deliver occult messages, the sequel also uses record players, radio and 16-millimeter films to expand the multimedia horror. If you consider the technical developments these days, the Bughuul shenanigans can be expanded as desired. The open ending in “Sinister 2” certainly indicates that the path to the third part has already been paved. And with the lively cross-references to genre classics like “Children of Wrath” or “Ring,” the “Sinister” series could be marketed in the future as an eloquent horror film potpourri that should at least retain a large part of its recognition value through home videos.
Conclusion: “Sinister 2” no longer has the innovative value of the first part, but it still shocks effectively and leaves you wanting more.
“Sinister 2” can be seen in cinemas nationwide from September 17th.