Thursday, August 4, 2016
In this sequel to the creditable horror thriller Sinister, the unnamed deputy (James Ransone) -- now fired from the police force -- who helped out the writer in the first film, continues his investigation into the horrible murders of several families. He plans to burn down certain houses to prevent people from living in them, but discovers that Courtney Collins (Shannyn Sossamon) and her two sons, fleeing a dangerously abusive husband and father, are now living in the targeted house. Young Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) is visited by the ghosts of the families' dead children, who take him to the cellar to watch films detailing the deaths of the the families in what are essentially snuff movies. Dylan's brother, Zach (Dartanian Sloan), also sees the ghosts, but is jealous that they seem to prefer his brother's company. As the ex-deputy looks into the legends of the demon Bughuul, the dead childrens' unhealthy influence ensnares the two boys even as their father makes his presence known and continues his abuse. The former deputy rushes to save Courtney and the boys from a dreadful fate ... Sinister 2 is as compelling a horror film as the original, disturbing and suspenseful, with mostly sympathetic characters, a loathsome father (the oddly named Lea Coco), and some excellent performances. Ransone [Prom Night], Sossasom and Coco are impressive, although they have tough competition from some very talented child actors, including the little Sloan brothers, and Lucas Jade Zumann as Milo, the leader of the ghost-children. Some of the "home movies" border on torture porn, however, and it's interesting that all of the talented youngsters who appear in the film would not be permitted to see the R-rated feature in theaters. There are several scary moments and quite a few repellent ones, including one with alligators and another with rats that reminds one of a classic EC horror story. Don't expect any sympathy for the victims, which is perhaps the most chilling thing of all.
Verdict: Creepy in spades. *** out of 4.