SINISTER 2 (USA/16/96mins)
Directed by Ciarán Foy. Starring James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan, Dartanian Sloan, Lea Coco, Tate Ellington, John Beasley, Nick King, Lucas Jade Zumann, Jaden Klein, Laila Haley, Caden M. Fritz.
Having been fired from his job as a police officer (unfairly, of course), the man known as Deputy So & So (Ransone; think Bruce Campbell meets Ty Burell) has turned private investigator, determined to find the links to a series of grisly family murders where, in each case, only a single child survives. His trail leads him to believe that the family homes themselves possess much of the voodoo power, and so when he sets out with petrol cans in hand once more to destroy his latest possessed find, he’s shocked to find lip-biting single mum Courtney Collins (former manic pixie girl Sossamon) and her bickering Spielbergian twin sons are resident there. Courtney is hiding from a violent husband (Coco), who might just be the reason younger son Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) has been having nightmares. Then again, the nightmares may also be there because Dylan sees dead kids, who nightly take him down into the basement to watch grisly Super 8, Christopher Doyle-worthy footage of those Seven-esque family slaughters. The deal being, these Children of The Corney promise him, that the nightmares will stop once he has watched them all, and that nasty bogeyman Bughuul (King, looking scarily like THE ROOM’s Tommy Wiseau) will be gone from his bedroom closet for good. It’s enough to make jealous older brother Zachary (Dartanian Sloan) green with envy, and he’s soon battling for the creepy ghost kids’ affections…
THE VERDICT: SINISTER 2, a so-so sequel to an intriguing 2012 horror creation. The creators, Scott Dickerson and C. Robert Cargill, are here again, as co-writers and executive producers, but behind the camera is young Irish filmmaker Ciarán Foy, who made quite an impact with 2012’s CITADEL (a Dickerson Twitter rave actually led to this gig). Foy clearly understands the musical timing of horror, but there’s little here that jumps beyond the predictable he’s-right-behind-you jolts. On the plus side, there’s probably enough here to spark some serious box-office moolah, a sequel, and a Hollywood career for young Ciarán. So, you know, hooray all round.
Review by Paul Byrne

Sinister 2
Review by Paul Byrne
  • filmbuff2011

    In 2012, a new boogeyman was created in Sinister. With a name that is a combination of boogeyman and ghoul, Bughuul terrorised families and devoured children’s souls via sinister Super 8 home movies. Sinister 2 picks up the story a little bit later. After the death of his writer friend in the first film, Ex-Deputy ‘So-And-So ‘ (James Ransone) isn’t content with letting this series of family murders off the hook. He’s now a private investigator and follows his leads to a rural farm, where concerned mother Courtney (Shannyn Sossamon) is on the run from her violent ex-husband. She’s trying to protect her two sons, Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) and Zach (Dartanian Sloan), but their innocent minds are now facing an even greater threat. Using his dead ghost children, Bughuul goads Dylan and Zach on to commit horrific crimes, even more impactful than the nasty snuff films they’ve been watching on 8mm in the basement. Can Ex-Deputy ‘So-And-So’ save them before Bughuul claims their souls? Sinister didn’t particularly need a sequel, but given that it was a hit, a sequel seemed inevitable. Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill’s script expands out the mythology of Bughuul here, relating him to all cultures as a symbol of terror for children. But yet, by the end we still don’t know that much about Bughuul – he remains elusive at best. Following on from his highly impressive debut Citadel, Dublin-born director Ciaran Foy is mostly going through the motions here. Confined by the house-bound settings and style established in the first film, there’s not a lot individual input that he can contribute. There’s not enough of the absolute terror and fear that he evoked so well in Citadel. Instead, he relies on cheap shocks, even repeating shots from the first film. Making Bughuul’s dead ghost children talk and even appear in daylight is an obvious mistake – it takes away from their sense of mystery. The acting is also on the middling side (there’s nobody of Ethan Hawke’s calibre to lead the way this time). However, Foy does create some scenes of genuine menace, like the creepy 8mm home movies, which remain as effective here as they were in the original. Sinister 2 is entertaining but not unsettling, falling somewhere in the middle in terms of quality. It’s definitely not as bad as the critics are making it out to be though. It’s not a misstep for Foy though – it’s more of a stepping stone in his career, of which there can be no doubt that this talented young director is going places. He’s returning home for his next feature, The Shee. ***

  • Martin

    Nowadays a good horror film is very few and far between and therefore good sequels to horrors are even rarer. I had high hopes for this one because the first one that took me by surprise and I loved the first one, however, the main reason i liked the first film was because of Ethan Hawke but he’s wasn’t coming back here. One good thing about this movie is that the story starts to expand what we had learn from Sinister, but theres too much going on other than the horror story and those other plot elements are not very interesting. There is lots of the old scary footage shot with an old camera that I thought worked well in the first one. 
    There were some parts of this film that were nearly as good as the first one but I’d wait and not bother going to the cinema for this one

  • Randy

    I’m usually receptive to most genres and I do like well-executed horror but this sequel is a real let-down. The story is nonsensical and haphazardly shot, and beyond predictable. I easily got bored and the ending made little sense. I wouldn’t even recommend this for a DVD release. Please do yourself a favour and avoid. Go and see The Gift instead (if it’s still playing).