August 29, 2015

Movie Review: Sinister 2

Three years ago Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill brought us Sinister. It was a horror movie that drew me and unsettled my core. It was a movie that, like Insidious, proved there is life and quality in mainstream horror. It was a haunted house tale, it was a demonic tale, it was a missing person mystery, and it succeeded in making skin crawl. It was a movie that took a different angle on the idea of found footage, having the main character find film that pertains to the mystery at hand. It was quite effective. Sadly, the sequel did not live up to its predecessors promise.

With the sequel, Derrickson did not return to the directors chair, but he, along with Cargill, did supply the screenplay. As for the director duties, those fell into the hands of Ciaron Foy, who directed the quite good 2012 film Citadel. With the apparent talent involved, I am not quite sure where the blame should fall for why the film fails. Of course, we may not need to assign blame and just recognize it just wasn't as strong a film and perhaps we should have just left it with the first. Or, it could simply be a case of me not liking it.

Sinister 2 picks up sometime after the events of the original film. The hero of the first film, Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke), is dead and the helpful deputy is now an ex-deputy and working as a private investigator (James Ransome, looking like a low rent Jake Gyllenhall) and is trying to stop the cycle of murders and missing children. However, the idea of stopping Bughuul is easier said than done.

The story told comes from two different sides. On one hand you have a mother (Shannyn Sossaman) hiding out at a farmhouse with her twin sons from an abusive husband. On the other hand, you have a detective who has tracked Bughuul's activity to the same farmhouse, and he wants to put a stop to the cycle them and there. The tying element? The twin sons being targeted by the claimed children of Bughuul.

For me, it just fails to come together. What could have been interesting roved to be more than a little dull. There was a little too much Children of the Corn influence to be found, but beyond that we had characters not doing anything intelligently. Our lead detective was an interesting character, but he played everything a little too close to the vest. When a revealing conversation could prove interesting, nothing was said and that leads to more stupid decisions.

The whole thing feels like it could have been a whole lot more than the whole lot of meh that it is. I like the idea of how the kids are recruited, if you will, with the visitations, the nightmares, the forced viewings, not to mention how they seemingly prey on the troubled youth, the more easily swayed (sort of). There were also some nicely shot scenes, I am mainly looking at the one where the detective is searching the church, very nice tension build up.

When it comes right down to it, this is not a good movie. There are certainly some good and/or interesting elements, but the execution never pulls them all together. The end is just a dull movie that fails to deliver any genuine tension or fear.

Not Recommended.

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