To make a successful paranormal film without using the typical horror conventions is difficult and Sinister 2 does not fail to follow them through.
Director: Ciaran Foy
Starring: James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan, Dartanian Sloan
Release Date: In cinemas now
The sequel in the Sinister franchise follows the ex-Deputy (James Ransone) from the first film who sets about burning houses that have been marked by death.
He turns up at a rural house where a mother (Shannyn Sossamon) and her two twin boys, Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) and Zach (Dartanian Sloan) live. Little does he know, but it soon becomes apparent, that both boys have spoken with a group of dead children who show film reels of how they murdered their families.
To say that this film does provide the jumps and make the audience cover their eyes would be an understatement. Yet, by using the conventional horror elements including a house in the middle of nowhere, creepy children and figures emerging and then swiftly disappearing it was easy to tell when a fright scene was going to appear, which provided the typical horror-esque settings and makes it somewhat predictable.
Making a horror film without using the traditional conventions is difficult especially during a sequel. Sequels are always difficult to produce as an original film without regurgitating the same plot devices, horror techniques and creating the same film, but slightly different.
Nevertheless, they do work and director, Ciaran Foy knew what he was doing to produce a jumpy film that brings the horror elements leaving the audience invested and frightened by the plot.
The script provides an unexpected twist, which is something that is a rare breath of fresh air during a typical horror – it works well and it is foreseeable during to the limited character development.
There is an underlying narrative that surfaces throughout this film and it takes a darker tone towards the end; not because of the ghostly apparitions but because of the domestic abuse storyline. It is slightly understandable as to why it was added but then again, there are always other possibilities to build on character development.
Speaking of which, there is none. The only character that really gets any development is Dylan, the young, naïve and ‘ghost-whisperer’ of the two boys. Despite the slight character depth, he becomes a more submissive character towards the finale of the film making one wonder the purpose of his role.
Like many horror films, the ending will leave a sour taste and will make you ask more questions than you wish. After the climatic, or anti-climatic, ending horror fans will know that there is always something that makes you catch your breath and SINISTER 2 leaves it open for a possible third in the franchise.
The jumpy sequel does refer back to incidents and characters from the first and although it’s not necessary, it is advisable to watch the prequel before seeing this one.
Overall, it was a film that is not for the faint-hearted and definitely not to watch alone.