A mother of twin nine year old boys moves into an old church that was previously the site of a series of grisly murders inspired by Bagul. Shortly after moving in, the young mother is introduced to Deputy So and So from the first film. The pair joins forces in an attempt to save the nine year old boys from the clutches of the rancorous Bagul.
Sinister 2 is helmed by Ciaran Foy (Citadel). Scott Derrickson, who co-wrote and directed the first film penned the screenplay for the sequel with C. Robert Cargill. Derrickson and Cargill also scripted the original Sinister film. In addition, Derrickson also served as a producer on the sequel. Even though he did not direct, Derrickson was very involved with the production of this follow up effort and unfortunately, he didn’t bring the same magic this time around. However, that’s not to say that the film is entirely without merit.
This was actually an odd one for me. I went in not really expecting to like it because the reviews had been so overwhelmingly negative and the fan response was lukewarm, at best. But I ended up kind of enjoying it. The film certainly isn’t without its shortcomings but from what I’d heard, I expected to be particularly underwhelmed and was a little surprised I liked it as much as I did.
I really liked that James Ransone (Kristy) was brought back. His role in the original was small but meaningful and it was really nice to see him return for the sequel. He does a lot to uplift the sometimes less than zippy screenplay. And his onscreen chemistry with Shannyn Sossamon is surprisingly believable. I actually found myself invested in both of their characters.
The child actors were also pretty good. Sinister was told more from the perspective of a parent and Sinister 2 is told more from the perspective of the youngsters. The sequel gives us a lot of insight into how Bagul works and what makes a child susceptible to his particular brand of evil. I found that to be interesting and I like that Derrickson went that direction instead of simply just rehashing what worked about the original.
The first film has a pretty downbeat ending and that worked for that film but (without spoiling anything) I was pleasantly surprised with the direction the follow up took in its final act. It’s certainly not going to please everybody (obviously) but I definitely found merit in it.
One thing that did bother me was that Sinister 2 is most definitely not as scary as the original. That’s probably a big part of what fans and critics objected to about the film. It fails to really recapture the utterly terrifying atmosphere with which the first film was dripping. The sequel is much more generic and cookie cutter in its scares and that is really too bad. But the less frightening atmosphere didn’t all out ruin the sequel for me. It just meant that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I might have.
My other big problem was that Sinister 2 has some pretty noticeable pacing issues. It’s really quite slow for about the first hour. That is made up for in the final act but I was a little bored in the time leading up to the conclusion. I would have almost been happy if there were even a few jump scares. Just something to break up the monotony. I realize they were trying for slow burn but that takes more than just a slowly paced first and second act to get right.
Sinister 2 is slated to hit DVD and Blu-ray on January 12, 2016. Wicked Horror contributor Joey Keogh reviewed the film during its theatrical bow. You can see her review right here. Also, we are hosting a giveaway (in partnership with Universal Home Entertainment) of Sinister 2 on Blu-ray in support of the film’s home video release. Click here to learn how you can win a copy of the film!
WICKED RATING: 5/10 [usr 5]
Director(s): Ciaran Foy
Writer(s): Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Stars: James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon
Release: January 12, 2016 (Home Video)
Studio/ Production Co: Universal, Blumhouse
Budget: $10 Million (Estimated)
Length: 97 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Supernatural Horror