Yet another sequel this year that has a lot of positives and a lot of negatives. I really like the first Sinister, it is surprisingly violent, atmospheric, filled with effective and well timed jump scares and bolstered down by terrific performances. The same can be said about Sinister 2, minus the atmosphere and jump scares as well as a compelling story.
This sequel is copy and paste in structure. The opening sees a family hung on a stake, then they are burned alive. Then we are introduced to the family that will no doubt be stalked by the entity Bughuul. Cue a series of jump scares here and there, mix in family drama then the eventual discovery of the ghostly happenings all before the finale and twist or reveal. I found myself checking the time a lot, something I rarely do when watching a film, it got to the point where I didn't care what the ending had in store nor what the reveal was going to be.
The video tapes retained the grittiness and morbid curiosity seen in the first film, but sadly this time they aren't scary or shocking. Awkward placements of CGI completely pull you out of the experience, I won't give any spoilers but I'm just going to say alligators are involved. There is a lack of atmosphere, I never felt tense or on edge, the farmland setting isn't eerie nor is the family home. Shots of unnerved characters walking through quiet corridors are rather tame, you are waiting for something to happen and when it does the jump scares aren't effective because the atmosphere doesn't build you up or enliven the situation.
Worst of all is the young actors playing the dead kids. Aside from Robert Daniel Sloan who is great as Dylan, the rest are unconvincing and they ruin whatever semblance of horror there is onscreen. It's more cheesy than scary. One of biggest redeeming qualities of this sequel are actors James Ransone and Shannyn Sossamon. Ransone brings back the comedic timing he nailed superbly in the first film, as well as revealing dramatic depth that he pulls off effortlessly. Sossamon, one of my favourite actresses, gives it her all and she leaves a lasting impression. Her accent is spot on, I love the look of fear and anxiety she displays and as a protective mother looking to start anew, she is utterly convincing.
This sequel is a mixed bag, it's not rubbish by any means but I won't watch it again as the pace slogs and it frankly isn't all that scary.