A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.
An American nanny is shocked that her new English family's boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.
Following the events from the first film, a different family; a mother and her 2 sons move into a rural house that's marked for death. When the deputy from the first film learns that this family is next in line to fall to the demon Bhughul, he races before time to stop it and save them from the same fate.
I know I'm in the minority in that I didn't find the first Sinister terribly engaging or frightening. It did have some creep factor and managed to build up some good atmosphere; but as with most horror films, it relied too much on empty jump scares.
Sinister 2 dispenses with the atmosphere and relegates the perennial baddie, Bughuul, to essentially a running cameo since he has maybe 20 seconds of overall screen time (all of which are jump scares telegraphed so well in advance that it saps them of even the most basic fear factor of surprise). Instead the focus is on his kiddie minions, who are as frightening as the Muppets. Heck, even the 2 boys being "haunted" by them aren't scared in the least by their presence, and even fight for their attention. The ghost children wish to recruit one of the boys, so they visit him nightly with a choice to either be tormented by nightmares, or watch a series of snuff films that each of them has made. He's informed he must watch "every one," yet the reasoning behind this is left a little murky. Since all the reels seem to be shot and edited identically, maybe he's being forced to examine their directorial methods so when his time comes, his film won't stand out awkwardly from the crowd?
The "scares" are few, far between, and pretty lame. A symbol of Bughuul pops up on a laptop screen and starts to drip blood, an antique radio-thingy jumps to life with ghostly voices, people run down halls that are ridiculously streaked with blood (assumably to give the impression that something REALLY BAD must have happened there)... it's all pretty pedestrian and I'd think only frightening to children under the age of 7.
The plot is paper thin, and since they gave more screen time to super8 films of random people getting murdered in preposterous ways rather than building up any actual character development, I won't even bother talking about it. However, in the brief time Bughuul was actually on-screen, I was so unengaged from the film that I had time to ponder just why a Babylonian demon who eats children would be dressed in a modern fitted suit (with the shirt collar fashionably left open for those seeking a titillating flash of demon clavicle). Perhaps he shops at JoS. A. Bughuul.
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