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 2 isn't as bad as some make it out to be. It's not a good movie either. Like most sequels, it struggles with the novelty gone and never manages to succeed in new ways or areas. It is a mediocre and forgettable film, just as the name of it's main character.
I very much enjoyed the first movie. While it's not without its faults - I actually don't think it was that scary with too heavy reliance and textbook-use of "creepy" sounds and the children were too cliché for my taste; it was a very absorbing movie, well directed with excellent music, a good sense for mystery, mood, pace, a solid twist and awesome ending. It cleverly managed to outbalance it's shortcomings.
Sinister 2 starts off promising enough - at first it looks and feels just as it is supposed to, the snuff-flicks are still here with their grainy look and new, obscure kills complimented by creepy music. We find out what has happened after the first movie and continue the investigations surrounding the murder cases involving mysterious events, now with a new family (with twins - which could've provided an interesting twist to the story) and more involvement of the deputy from the prequel which at this point pretty much has inherited the knowledge of the previous main character. Everything you could possibly want in a sequel to Sinister is here, but sadly it is meaningless as they never manage to do something as interesting or memorable with it.
The death-flicks are useless this time as they don't provide anything to resolve the puzzle or any kind of new information. Even worse: the pace of them is pretty much straight to the point giving them a very rushed, uninspired and uninvolved feeling - not enough build-up and no intensity. As opposed to some in the first movie, none of them made me wonder or left me amazed how they were filmed. Instead some of them involve CGI rats and crocodiles - don't even ask. Even the characters argue to watch them all through in one sitting almost as if just to be done with.
The movie also suffers from too much exposition provided by the ghost children. The family, the deputy and Bughuul I found to be decent, but also problematic. While the deputy continues to be the same, likable character, you'll never fear for him because he seems to be too safe from all of it. The character of the mother is another one we should fear for, but oddly enough she is almost entirely absent in any of the horror events; her struggle is only on the family-issue side which doesn't quite sit right with this kind of movie and is more or less a subplot which lacks emotional depth, partially due to the father being so over the top. There is just overall little sense of danger in this movie which is its biggest fault.
To it's credit it does try to provide new things while being true to the first movie. It has it's moments where it shows potential and ideas, but never quite manages to expand on it in suspenseful and creative ways. It does however bother to explain some things surrounding the history and what if's, just about in the right amount without ruining too much, which is always nice. It also has its fair share of plot holes and faulty logic, just like the previous one did (some are even still the same), but I found it to be forgivable as it's not something I should be too concerned about with a movie involving supernatural events.
It's not exactly trash. I wasn't really bored watching it, but it also didn't provide enough suspense either, which is something it definitely should have. With a third Sinister movie seemingly sure to be made it'll be interesting to see where he series is being headed and if it'll reach cult status as any other popular horror franchise. The first one has potential to become a classic, this one is a much weaker entry which makes me wonder how they will handle the next one. Sinister 2 had potential and could have used more polish in almost every aspect. Hopefully the makers will learn from it and allow them more time to come up with good material.
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