The first Sinister movie was released in 2012 & was a decent little horror that understood that ‘less is more’ when it comes to scares. You can read Unholydarklotus’ excellent review here.
The first films story is based around an ancient demon called Bughuul, who possesses children getting them to murder their entire family, filming it in the process before he consumes their souls. It’s incredibly elaborate but does result in some really cool ‘super 8’ snuff movies.
This sequel continues this but abandons all subtly & surprise in favour of jump scares (I lost count once it hit double figures). In your face, predictable & incredibly exasperating…there are no actual scares in this movie, not a single one. No creep factor as every build is just for something else to jump out at you.
Opening with one of the ‘super 8’ snuff films we see a family hung like scarecrows in a cornfield before they are set on fire. It’s a cool opening that is revealed to be the dream of Dylan, a young boy who is living at a quiet farmhouse with his mother & twin brother, Zach.
The family are in hiding from the kid’s abusive father who is trying to track them down having won custody. That is the least of their problems though as each night Dylan is visited by ghostly kids who encourage him to watch more of the snuff movies on the belief that it will stop his bad dreams.
These kids are under the influence of the demon Bughuul, who wants Dylan to create a new movie. All of this is spelled out within the first 15 minutes & a slight twist near the end is so obvious it’s almost insulting.
The deputy from the first movie has been investigating the cases surrounding the murders involving Bughuul & is attempting to stop the cycle by burning down the houses that have had murders occur. He arrives at the farmhouse (had a snuff film called ‘Sunday Service’ happen there) to burn it down only to find the two boys & their mum staying there.
Unable to burn the place down he changes his approach & starts looking for another way to stop the demon. Meanwhile Dylan’s dreams are getting worse & the children’s influence beginning to wear him down. However his twin brother is also being visited by the kids, jealous that they have chosen Dylan over him who he sees as weak & pathetic. This jealousy spills over into abuse & violence towards his mother & brother. Kind of the sort of thing Bughuul might be looking for, eh?
Sinister 2 is easily one of the worst horror movies I’ve ever seen & I’ve seen the Wickerman remake. It’s devoid of so few redeeming factors that any rating above 1 would be lying. The acting is average at best & shockingly bad at other times, not a single person is convincing in their roles & you can’t shake the feeling that they know it’s a bad movie too.
The ‘super 8’ movies, something that should be dark, twisted and…ahem, sinister have little impact. Every 15 minutes or so another is shown, more elaborate than the last. The ‘Sunday Service’ one in particular is laughable & unrealistic, they lack the horrifying fact that a child is murdering their own family; you don’t need CGI alligators for that.
In the original Sinister movie, the demon Bughuul was used sparingly & it resulted in some well-done creepy moments. This time round it’s in your face, up close & in no way scary. He pops up everywhere looking like a cross between Michael Jackson & the puppet from the Saw franchise, Billy.
The final scene might be one of the most infuriating you’ll ever see in a horror movie as he literally just pokes his head around the camera in one final terrible jump scare. They’re not even trying…
Sinister 2 could never have really worked. The surprise factor had been worn out quickly in the original & scares are always going to be few & far between. Building on the lore of Bughuul might have made sense but the more you know & see the less terrifying it becomes. Also ghost children with bad make-up are never scary!
Yes, it is this bad. I almost fell asleep several times…