Combustible Celluloid
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With: James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Sloan, Dartanian Sloan, Lea Coco, Tate Ellington, John Beasley, Lucas Jade Zumann, Jaden Klein, Laila Haley, Caden Marshall Fritz, Olivia Rainey, Nick King, Michael Woods
Written by: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Directed by: Ciarán Foy
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, bloody and disturbing images, and language
Running Time: 97
Date: 08/21/2015

Sinister 2 (2015)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Horrible Horrors

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The original Sinister was a passable chiller, but the sequel feels more like a vague attempt to create a lucrative franchise than to create anything truly interesting or spooky. The first film had Ethan Hawke in an interesting role, as a struggling writer. Sinister 2 has only James Ransone as a likably flawed hero; even if his motives and background are not clear, he's brave and takes charge, but still vulnerable. The other characters are thinly written, including the villains.

Following the events of Sinister, the former deputy with no name (James Ransone) has devoted himself to preventing that kind of ghostly torment from happening again. He discovers another haunted house, and sets out to destroy it, but is too late: a mom, Courtney Collins (Shannyn Sossamon), and her two boys, Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) and Zach (Dartanian Sloan), have moved in, hiding from the boys' abusive father, Clint (Lea Coco). As he learns more about the evil Bughuul, he finds himself becoming attracted to Courtney and dealing with the real-world threat of the violent Clint. Meanwhile, Bughuul has begun manipulating one of the brothers with a handful of kid-ghosts, and he is falling right into the monster's trap.

The movie brings back the demon (deity? boogeyman?) Bughuul, presumably in an attempt to put a scary face to the franchise and sell future merchandise, but doesn't seem to know who he is, what he wants, or what he does. Perhaps worse, director Ciaran Foy goes with lazy tactic of adding loud, sudden, percussive bursts of noise for every ghost-appearance; it's all routine shocks and no genuine atmosphere or terror. The only good part is the strange, discordant score by tomandandy.

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