Review: Sinister 2
Shannyn Sossamon and her two boys (Robert Daniel Sloan and Dartanian Sloan) flee from her abusive husband and end up in an old farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere. They’re soon visited by former sheriff’s deputy James Ransone, still affected by the events of the first film. Now a lowly P.I., he warns Sossamon that the property needs to be burned down as it is afflicted with the same boogeyman/mass murder curse as the house from the previous film. Meanwhile, one of Sossamon’s boys has been interacting with a small band of child ghosts who want him to watch their little home movie collection. Yeah, that’s not a good idea, kid.
The original “Sinister” for me was one of the better horror films of the last decade or so, but this 2015 follow-up from director Ciaran Foy is a cheap, lousy knock-off. I knew I was in trouble from the lame opening scene where the deputy from the first film (played by James Ransone) seeks confession with a priest (played by John Beasley) to set up the events of this film as being more of the same but with a different family. Meanwhile, I don’t know what accent Shannyn Sossamon is attempting but she’s not doing it right. Basically this is the same movie as before except with a kid watching creepy home movies (ridiculously featuring an alligator at one point) instead of Ethan Hawke. Well that and the difference in quality. This one is agonisingly repetitive: The kid gets shown a movie by his ghostly friends, the movie starts out all apple pie and then a hard cut to the nasty stuff. Rinse, repeat. After about 20 minutes I was completely bored. It even resorts to ripping off “Children of the Corn” at times (when it’s not merely ripping off the first “Sinister”). Who on Earth would want to rip-off “Children of the Corn”? This stupid, lazy-arse film right here. Worst of all though, the film sets up a wraparound structure it forgets to go back to in the end! Dafuq? Pathetic.
It’s well-shot and well-lit, but that’s a given for a Blumhouse film. It’s also of the ‘Boo!’ scare variety, and I find that kind of thing lazy and stupid. We even get a ‘oh it was just a rat’ moment. They’ve been doing that trope since the 30s for fuck’s sake and all that type of thing does is momentarily startle, not terrify. It feels like no one tried terribly hard here, certainly not screenwriters C. Robert Cargill & Scott Derrickson, who are largely cribbing their own material from the previous film. Beefing up the role played by a returning James Ransone doesn’t help, as the actor isn’t charismatic nor interesting enough to pull his weight. Sossamon (who like Gretchen Mol, was a thing for a hot minute before people discovered she wasn’t much of a thing) is especially dreadful, and the kids aren’t much chop either.
Flat, dull, and disappointing sequel is an extremely repetitive rehash of the original but getting pretty much everything wrong. Poor performances don’t help, this one’s a complete waste of time.