Review: SINISTER 2 (2015) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Review: SINISTER 2 (2015)

SINISTER 2 has a few effective jump scares, but hardly enough to overcome the déjà vu feeling of the same old setup.

The first SINISTER was a surprise hit that landed on (almost) every horror fan's list as one of the best horror movies in 2012. It's easy to see why: Scott Derrickson's mix of classic haunted-house genre and found-footage element was both spooky and suspenseful. On top of that, there's Ethan Hawke, who helped elevate the cast. But SINISTER was an uneven effort that didn't exactly justified its overwhelming response. Three years later, here comes the sequel that no one (really) asked for. Instead of a follow-up with a hope of fresh perspective, SINISTER 2 comes up short as a tedious rehash of the original version.


Following the gruesome murders of true-crime author Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke, not reprising his role in this sequel) and his family, ex-Deputy So & So (James Ransone) is now working as a private investigator after losing his job on the force. It doesn't take long before he finds out there's another similar murder case somewhere on a rural Illinois farm. When he plans to burn down the farmhouse and the church next to it, he discovers the property is currently resided by single mother Courtney (Shannyn Sossamon) and her two sons, Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) and Zach (Dartanian Sloan). Apparently, they are laying low at the house as a to get away from Courtney's abusive husband Clint (Lea Coco). Unfortunately, Courtney's kids are now being haunted by Bughuul (Nicholas King), the same demonic pagan deity from the first movie.


With Scott Derrickson taking a backseat this time around (he only retained his credits as one of the movie's screenwriters and producers), Irish director Ciaran Foy (CITADEL) does a fairly commendable job setting up some decent scares.

James Ransone made quite an impression as a comic relief in the first movie, and this time he takes the lead in SINISTER 2. His performance is likeable enough that almost reminds me of Bruce Campbell-like nerdy vibe. Shannyn Sossamon, recently seen in TV's Wayward Pines, provides decent support as the single mother who is very protective of her two sons. The Sloan twins, as well as other child actors, are equally worthwhile in their respective roles. Lea Coco, in the meantime, made good use of his limited screen time playing an abusive-father role. 


The suspenseful moment where Ransone uses his flashlight, while investigating the creepy surrounding of the abandoned church.


Despite the return of Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill in the screenwriting duties, the plot is actually more of the same and does little to expand the mythology of Bughuul. The sequel also relies too much on cheap jump scares, as well as loud sound effects that quickly grows tiresome.

Then comes the Bughuul himself. Like the first movie, I hardly find him scary at all. And again, as in the first movie, SINISTER 2 ends up with a mediocre payoff. If that's not frustrating enough, there's even a last-minute hint that the sequel is open for a possible third movie (of course, providing if SINISTER 2 made enough money at the box office to do so).


Frankly, I find SINISTER 2 is an unnecessary sequel that should have been left alone. The first movie itself wasn't as good as I thought, and this sequel just made it worse.

* This review is written courtesy from TGV press screening *

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