Ciaran Foy’s Sinister 2, the follow up to Scott Derickson and C. Robert Cargill’s supernatural terror tale of 2012, is arguably one of the sequels that garnered the most buzz in 2015. Where the first Sinister was steeped in dangerous supernatural vibes and sported some of the most paranoid filmmaking techniques in a contemporary horror, the second is a vapid departure from those elements.
Sequels are a tricky business, especially when the first instalment seems constructed to be a one-off. And that’s not brand loyalty, Foy is a fine director capable of scares, he just doesn’t do anything interesting with the film, neither do Derickson and Cargill though. The Sinister fathers came back for scripting duties, and though the film does in some ways feel like a natural progression, in others it feels like a confused and ultimately stuck venture, unsure which way to go first. Vincent D’Onofrio’s failure to return says more about the project than anything else, since it probably should have been him and Deputy So-and-So (James Ransone) cleaning up the mess left at the climax of the first film. Oh well.
Fast-tracked involvement seems the aim of a vaguely exploitative look at domestic violence and single-motherhood. Shannyn Sossamon’s mum on the run is left dealing with potential aggression from all sides, but it still doesn’t get us involved because it’s hard to care. Where Ethan Hawke’s author went the Jack Torrance route and slowly lost his marbles first time round, Sinister 2 decides to side with the kids and show us their side, which involves giving a lot of lines and scare-time, to some bad kid actors. It doesn’t work.
Technically the film is simply dull. The exquisite Christopher Young soundtrack of Sinister is recycled and remoulded in the dullest ways for part 2. Where Young’s music blended fiction and reality, droned Occult intensity, and ultimately became a force in and of itself, TomandAndy’s turn is not up to scratch. Also fuck that final Bughuul spook, its shit and its stupid. The first time you can almost get away with a surprise” fuck you” to the audience, second time around its just plain stupid and irritating, like much of the film.
A stack of uninvolving things happen, but somewhere in here is an inkling of where to go. It’s a disappointing direction for one of the most complete horror flicks of the past decade and at this rate I’m worried about The Strangers 2.
Dir: Ciaran Foy
Stars: James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan