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.
12 years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, where they soon become the target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle.
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.
Sinister is one of my favorite horror films from the past few years, so when the reviews for this sequel started coming out, I was really disappointed. I mean, it has a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time that I'm writing this. But after going into the movie with an open mind, I actually thought it was surprisingly solid, a whole lot better than the reviews would have you believe.
When Sinister 2 was originally announced, I was pretty skeptical. The original focused so heavily on a mystery that was solved by the end, so how do you make another one when we already know what's going on? C. Robert Cargill and Scott Derrickson pull that off by offering something totally different that still feels familiar. We follow the madness from a child's perspective this time, and that allows us to explore the rules of this universe in a really interesting way. In the first one we're begging for the Oswalt family to leave the house, but this time, we're begging for the family to stay in it. The formula is flipped around a bit, and while still being structured around a collection of film reels, Sinister 2 feels different enough to justify its existence.
It's also quite creepy just as the original movie was, although the atmosphere isn't as bleak and relentless this time. A whole lot of scenes take place during the day and just consist of a lot of dialogue, and it was definitely missing the Scott Derrickson touch in some places. Sinister 2 also relies on jump scares a bit more than its predecessor did, and in fact nearly every single scare in the movie is accompanied by a loud noise. They all worked on me, so I didn't mind too much, but I wish I could say the scares in this one were as inventive as they were the last time.
But overall, Sinister 2 does a really solid job of building on the first one. The plot is far more interesting than I expected, James Ransone and Shannyn Sossamon are both great, and the film reels themselves are all pretty fantastic (except for one that goes a bit over the top and just looks silly, but I won't spoil it). Best of all, while Mr. Boogie gets more screen time here, I never felt the added exposure made him any less terrifying, and luckily the franchise hasn't gone the Halloween route of explaining too much.
No, it's not as good as the original, but if you enjoyed that movie as much as I did, you should have a good time with Sinister 2.
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