There are very few horror locations able to live up to the unsettling air that surrounds the “little house on the prairie”. The claustrophobic density of trees engulfing a cabin in the woods is one thing but there’s nothing quite like the vast plains reaching out to horizon, impenetrable walls of crops for miles around reinforcing your lonely helplessness. Given that Sinister 2 is blessed with exactly this type of environment as well as a “stronger-than-most” original film to play off, it should already be at an advantage, right?
Wrong. Ciaran Foy quickly squanders the promise of his isolated setting and strong concept, failing to deliver any of the same chills of 2012’s Sinister (or at least from the first half of Sinister, before the film broke apart). Everything gets off to an acceptable start: former police deputy So-And-So (his actual, credited name) is privately investigating various murder cases with possible connections to Bughuul, the demonic child-snatcher who bears more of a striking resemblance to Slipknot’s Mick Thomson than anything truly disturbing. The story unwinds as our detective discovers a single mother and her two children living in a remote house with a supernatural, homicidal past.
The creepy film reels return for the sequel and are as gruesomely constructed as before. Unfortunately they fail to find their place within the narrative, coming off as cheap pop-up shorts and lacking the scare appeal given by Hawke in the original, watching them alone in his attic. Instead, we get a dull child viewing the whirring projector in his basement, accompanied by similarly uninspiring ghost-kids. These child spirits may very well be the weakest link in the movie, nothing about them works. The costumes, make-up and performances are sub-standard as is the woefully generic way that they fade in and out of existence. They may well be the least scary children in recent horror memory, particularly when their terribly choreographed movement becomes hilariously reminiscent of GCSE Drama productions.
Sinister 2 sports a strong narrative frame but poor execution across the board, with no real fright to carry its thriller-infused plot. The over-use of Bughuul robs the character of any spine-chilling potential and the handful of jump-scares simply don’t cut it across the 97 minute runtime.
– DELETED SCENES
A Late-Night Warning
Stomberg’s Last Drink
– EXTENDED KILL FILMS
A Trip to the Dentist
– TIME TO WATCH ANOTHER: THE MAKING OF SINISTER 2
– FEATURE COMMENTARY with Director Ciarán Foy
– #SINISTERHOMEMOVIE – Competition winning short film