Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Movie Review #302: "Sinister 2" (2015)

Movie"Sinister 2"
Ticket Price: $7.00
Director: Ciaran Foy
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes
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Courtney (Shannyn Sossamon) is a mother on the run from her abusive husband. She hides out with her two sons Zach (Dartanian Sloan) and Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) in a house that was the scene of a grizzly murder. Deputy So & So (James Ransone) has been following the Bughuul murders since he helped Ellison Oswalt with research for his novel, which resulted in the death of the entire Oswalt family. He believes the house Courtney and her boys are hiding in was a Bughuul site, and if this is true, it would put their lives in grave danger. 

It's no secret horror movies are cheap to make. So when the original "Sinister" brought in $48 million domestic on a diminutive $3 million dollar budget, a cash-grab sequel was all too inevitable. Armed with a higher budget, but somehow a less notable cast this time around, "Sinister 2" was made, exists, and that's about it. With the story of the Oswalt family over, the writers of this movie felt like they needed a returning cast member from part one to tie the films together. Vincent D'Onofrio was busy making "Jurassic World" or starring in Netflix's "Daredevil," or whatever else he was doing, so this became the job of James Ransone, who played the bit part of Deputy So & So in the latter portion of the first movie. By the start of "Sinister 2," he is no longer a cop, and is now a private investigator following the Bughuul murders from the death of the Oswalt's all the way back to the beginning. He has been trying to find a way to break the chain and stop the murders, and he thinks he is accomplishing this by burning down every murder house to prevent the spread of Bughuul's carnage. By the time he gets to the most recent murder house, Courtney, played by Shanynn Sossamon, is already living there with her two boys Zach and Dylan, played by real-life twin brothers Dartanian Sloan and Robert Daniel Sloan. To make matters worse, the youngest son Dylan is already being visited by Bughuul's already "captured" ghost children, who insist Dylan watch their home movies of them murdering their families. In the place of an adult watching the films, this time around, the children must view them in order to complete their "mission" of murdering their families to please Bughuul, who is in this movie far more than necessary. These ghost children and their 8mm films are the primary source of horror here, outside of the numerous and ill effective jump scares. Each of these home movies shows a different murder scene as it's painfully obvious the makers of this film were trying to think of new ways each family could be killed, one topping the next in terms of gruesomeness and "scare appeal." One such video involves a fishing trip where a child hangs his family upside down above a lake, and it is here we find out where the majority of the film's $10 million dollar budget went as they are eaten by some terribly CGIed alligators. Why use CGI if you're going to make it look so damn terrible?! Despite there being a greater variety of home movie murders, they seem far less effective than they were in the first film. The psychological element has been stripped and removed from these home movies, and now, we're just left with grotesque displays of murder at the hands of voyeuristic devil children who watch these movies over and over again with their new intended victims. And it's not like the devil children can act. Seriously, I'm more scared of random noises in the night than I was of the brats in this movie. This, of course, is all battling against a subplot of a custody battle between Courtney and her abusive yet wealthy husband Clint, played by Lea Coco, who has many connections within government and the police department, making it almost impossible for her to get away from him completely. The character of Clint is super over-the-top and unrealistic, doing the best he can to get the audience to despise him in his short screen time so (***semi-predictable spoiler***) we can be happy when he winds up dead in the end. The entire mood and thrilling tension found in the first "Sinister" is gone in its underwhelming sequel, and we are left with this mess of a film which lacks any type of tension, scares, or intrigue at all. You'll get more scares out of watching "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" than you will with this awful movie.

My Rating: 2.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 2.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 12%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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