I had always wanted to write a post for Moviepilot and having just seen Sinister 2 last weekend and reading all the negative reviews (come on, Rotten Tomatoes, only 12 %), I decided to write a defense for this movie because I actually liked it. No, it's not one of the better recent horror films but it's a lot better than The Gallows or Unfriended! I had a lot fun watching this movie.
WARNING: I'm writing about the entire movie and this post is FULL of Spoilers, including the ending! So, if you have not seen this, DO NOT read this post!
Basically, Sinister 2 is the story of Dylan (in the blue shirt) and Zach (in the red shirt) who are living in a rural Farmhouse in Indiana with their Mother, who is on the run from an abusive husband. Just sucks for them that that farmhouse also had a Catholic Church(I'm guessing it's a Catholic Church as the Priest Vestments looked Catholic to me) where a kid named Milo murdered his family back in the day.
Since this movie has the kids has the main characters ( as opposed to Ethan Hawke being the main character in Sinister) , this movie is only is as good as it is because of the acting of Robert Daniel Sloan as Dylan and later on, Dartanian Sloan as Zach. If they didn't step up the plate and do a good job, this movie really would of sucked! Thankfully, I think they did a great job! Unlike Sinister, where I didn't give a damn at all about Ethan Hawke's kids, I got into Dylan and Zach's story and felt they were real kids who I could feel something for.
DYLAN: Dylan is the lead character and our protagonist. Wikipedia lists the twins ages as 9 but they look and act more like 12, 13, maybe even 14. Unlike Zach, Dylan is more traumatized by the events of his life. The twins father Clint owns the largest Agriculture Plant in the area and employs most people of the people in the area, including relatives of the local and state police, judges, etc so Clint will never be arrested for abuse and his wife will never be able to get a restraining order or win custody of the kids for good. Dylan and Zach are old enough to know to they are fighting a losing battle and it's only a matter of time before their father finds them. Dylan suffers more because Clint once gave him a beating that put in the hospital and Clint wasn't arrested for it and Dylan knows it will happen again real soon. So, it's no surprise that when Clint does show up to take back the kids, Dylan pees his pants in fear and hides under the bed!
Based on events in my own life, I'm drawn to characters such as Dylan and relate to him. Robert Sloan plays each scene with a look of pure panic and fear on his face and in his body language that is very believable. I just wish the writers had added more to drive home the point that Dylan is completely traumatized such as crying , wetting the bed, etc that real traumatized kids go through.
Add that to fact that Dylan has nightmares each night (most disturbing is the nightmare where Dylan has to relive the time Clint beat him) and is visited each night by 5 Ghost children lead by Milo , who make Dylan go to the basement and watch Snuff films of each kid killing their family.
Dylan works as a character because we feel for the kid and while many are saying the movie and ghost kids weren't scary, I felt a lot of anxiety and tension in the scenes where Dylan was forced to deal with the ghost kids and watch the movies and especially in his scenes with his father. That dinner table is the most disturbing part of the movie.
GHOST KIDS and BUGHUUL: A lot didn't like that the ghost kids aren't in the shadows or just in their "films" like they are in Sinister. I didn't mind they were present and we get to watch them torment Dylan. It would of been be interesting to see more of their backstory. Were they good kids that under the evil influence of Bughuul murdered their family or was there an anger in them that Bughuul feed off of? Was there a reason each kid murdered their family the way they did? I'd really like to know the backstory of The Dentist film, having gone through a lot dental work myself. Was this girl pissed off her parent were making her get braces?
For the record, the Alligator film was my favorite of the bunch.
Milo is really the only ghost kid we get the know. Milo is a modern day Issac from Children of The Corn and the one who did the murders in the Church( my 2nd favorite film to watch), where the family lives. The scenes of Milo tormenting and threatening Dylan are full of tension and I enjoyed them.
My favorite scene in the movie has to be when Dylan gets some balls and refuses to watch the last movie and runs out of the basement , into the Church. Was just pure fun to watch!
As for Bughuul, I kind of wish he stayed in the shadows. he was more scary than way and let the kids be the public face of his evil. He's supposed to be some pagan Babylonian deity for whatever reason kills families and keeps one child for himself, consuming their soul and keeping them in his relm (not sure if it's Hell or some other place) but he looks like some hipster with long hair in a bad Halloween costume. Looks like he's wearing a cheap Rob Zombie Michael Myers Mask with a pink button down shirt and some kind of dark overcoat?! He didn't look like he's from ancient Biblical time to me. The less we had seen of him, the better! The evil not seen is more scary!
WHY SINISTER 2 IS LESS SCARY: Now that we know how this movie series works, it becomes less scary. I'm not really sure why Bughuul can ONLY have a child kill a family that moves into a house where a previous Bughuul inspired murder took place but only after they move to another house. Not sure why these murders are done in groups of 6. Does Milo and friends know the kids from the 1st Sinister movie? Have they all met in whatever realm Bughuul lives in? I'm guessing Bughuul has hundreds of kids he's kidnapped since the 1st century AD. Who made these rules?
And why, in the 1st movie, did Ellison get to see the movies? His daughter met the little girl ghost and i'm sure, off screen, saw the same movie and feel under the influence of Bughuul's gang to murder the family. Why tip off Ellison to everything? Not that it did any good
I do like the idea that each kid has to make an "offering" to Bughuul. A cave painting , audio recording or in recent times, a super 8 snuff film. That ham radio recording was pretty creepy.
But now that we know what the MO is , much like the movie Hostel 2, everything becomes less scary. But I just went with it, even if it doesn't make sense at times. I just had fun watching it and stopped thinking about the plot , like I do with most horror movies.
DEPUTY SO AND SO: Speaking of the M.O. , Deputy so and so returns from the 1st movie. Having been fired from the police force , he's now a P.I. and burns down all houses he learns( not sure how he learns it) are involved in Bughuul's murders. The last house needed to be burn was the farmhouse but ya, people are living there so he can't.
Doesn't take long but Deputy So and So makes friends with the family pretty quick and bonds with Dylan over their hard luck stories. He even saves the day when Clint and the state police show up to take back the kids.
Deputy So and So is a good man with a good heart but is kind of an idiot who is ineffective. I can see why he got fired as a cop. He convinces the family to stay at the farmhouse after the 1st run in with Clint so that Bughuul's plan cant be carried out if they stay but had to know Clint would win in the end and get the kids to move back so that was a mute point. When he shows up at Clint's house, he gets his ass kicked that same as Dylan got his ass beaten by Clint. Hell, at the end, Deputy So and So cant even take down a 12 year old holding a video camera in one hand and sickle in the other and loses a few fingers. Seriously?!
I didn't like the character all that much in the 1st film but I guess he was needed to give Ellison the inside info to put the pieces together and introduce him to the Professor. I like him a little better here but not by much.
ZACH: This brings us to Zach.
Zach reminds me of the stepdad in The Amityville Horror , a nice guy who turns into mean jerk from the evil influence of the House. Same with Zach, he gets along with Dylan at the beginning of the movie. They play nerf guns at the store, watching Night of The Living Dead on tv and Zach tells his mom he's worried about Dylan. He's an average kid character at this point, nothing special.
BUT the seeds of jealously ( and i'm guessing some supernatural evil influence over Zach's mind) over the Ghost Kids picking Dylan over Zach reallyturns Zach into a little dickhead and this is where Zach is a lot of fun to watch!
From beating up Dylan to cursing off Dylan and his own mother ( I was NOT expecting to hear Zach drop the C-Bomb), Zach becomes the main character of the 2nd part of this movie. I'm sure Dartanian Sloan is a nice well behaved kid in real life but I hope his mom washed his mouth out with soap after he filmed that scene .
I would loved a few more scenes of Zach acting like a jerk, taunting his mother and Dylan about the fact his dad would get them back and the future beatings in store for him, etc.
I did like the look on Zach's face when Dylan was hiding under the bed and Zach smirks at him and at the same smirking at the dinner table later on. Just a pure brat!
So, it was Milo's plan along to make Zach jealous, turn him Bad , watch the movies and kill his family as he makes his own movie when the family gets over to Clint's house.
In short, Zach poisons his family to knock them out but not before Dylan sends a text to Deputy So and So begging for help.
Zach, with help from his friends I'm guessing, hangs up family up in a mock Crucifixion scene , doses them with gasoline and starts off by lighting Clint on fire.
This is where the movie does gets a little silly. Deputy So and So rams into Zach with his car..Zach isn't hurt, just has to get up, crack his neck and he's good. Zach finds a sickle to finish the job.
Deputy So and So and Dylan and his mom run to the house. Deputy So and So loses a few fingers thanks to Zach's sickle and Zach corners Dylan and his mom to finish the damn movie.
All Dylan can do is cry at this point..iIm surprised we didn't get another Pants Wetting scene here. Deputy So and So saves the day by knocking the camera out of Zach's hand and it breaks and thats all it took to stop this madness.
I did actually feel bad when Zach went looking for a 2nd camera but found nothing..
The Ghost kids yells at him and Bughuul shows up to claim Zach as his new child!
THE ENDING: In times past, Deputy So and So , Dylan and his mom would of ridden off into the sunset, Deputy So and So and Mrs. Collins would gotten married and Dylan gotten a new stepdad and all would be well but not here..
Bughuul is not giving up on his family and follows them to Deputy So and So 's motel room where I think it's obvious that all die!
FINAL THOUGHTS: This movie didn't suck as much as people say it does but it's not a horror classic and will in the Best Buy bargain bin in 2 to 3 years! I find it a fun 97 mins of a movie . Movies like this should be fun to watch.
The Sloan brothers gave a break out performance and saved this movie from sucking and wish them the best in the future. At the very least, they have some good audition reel material now.
I'd give it a 5.5 to 6.0 out of 10!