[REVIEW] Sinister 2 **spoilers**



Yesterday was my 20th birthday and I chose to celebrate it, in part, with an evening trip to the cinema to watch Sinister 2. Anyone that knows me well enough knows that I love love love watching horror films. The Haunting in Connecticut, The Conjuring, The Sixth Sense, Insidious, Amytville Horror - you name it and I've probably seen it.

But when it comes to horror films, I am a really tough critic. I usually know what to expect and so a horror film really has to bring something completely different to the table to scare me. In regards to Sinister 2, I would have to say that it wasn't scary enough to completely terrify me. However, it had a brilliant storyline and it was so well put together, that I'm going to have to say it is now one of my favourite horror films ever. 

Sinister 1 - dark lighting
Sinister 2 was a massive improvement from Sinister 1. I enjoyed the first film and it did scare me, but the film lacked depth and there wasn't much diversity in the scenes. In the first film everything pretty much took place in the same settings, with the same lighting, music and atmosphere. However, in Sinister 2, all of this was improved. We had more settings (the motel, the church, the actual house, Courtney's husband's house, a library etc) and this meant that the lighting and general atmosphere in the film was a lot more realistic. Sinister 1 was centred around the main character watching the films and discovering the history of the house he was living in. He watched all the films in the dark, all the demonic activity took place in the dark and everything was generally very dark.

Sinister 1 - more dark lighting

In Sinister 2 the lighting was bright in some scenes and dark in others, creating a really significant contrast between some of the more light hearted scenes and the ones that were supposed to be scary. It just generally made the film a lot more interesting and realistic to follow. 







The storyline is what really pulled everything together for me and the film actually became quite sad. In Sinister 2 we see a completely different family. The film begins after Courtney has left her physically abusive husband with her two kids and has been put up by a friend in an empty house far from where he lives. In her free time she works on revising old pieces of furniture, in the hope of making enough money to find somewhere else to live with her kids. However, Courtney lives in fear of being found by her husband, just as the youngest of her sons lives in fear of having to go back to his father. There is a messy ongoing custody battle between Courtney and her husband. Currently, she has legal custody, but she doesn't have a documented case of domestic violence against him to present to the courts - he used to abuse both her and her son Dylan.

At the new house, Dylan is experiencing nightmares. A group of dead children, all of which have been taken by Bughuul in the past, haunt him at night and pester him to watch the videos of how they were made to brutally slaughter their families by the demon. The group of children in this film are different to the ones in the last, showing that Bughuul has taken a hell of a lot of kids in his time. It's also important to note that the videos in this film are a lot more brutal than the ones in the first film, which intensifies the murders. There is a strong torture element to the massacres committed by the children and the videos are really quite graphic. But Dylan seems to see the children as his companions. He isn't scared of them and he talks to them normally, presumably because he is so used to seeing them. Every night they coerce him in to going down in to the basement and watching the videos. Throughout these screenings, Bughuul can be seen lurking in the background and overseeing everything that's going on. 

Deputy James (or Deputy so and so) from the first film plays a major role in this one. Since the death of the family in Sinister 1, he has been investigating Bughuul's demonic activities and trying to find a way to break the chain of events. It seems that a pattern occurs whereby the families are only murdered after they leave the house that they have been tormented in. So two things are of great importance here. In order to prevent the massacres from occurring, the families cannot leave the houses that Bughuul has started haunting them in. Secondly if they do, which most people are very likely to do, then they will be killed. What Deputy James has been doing is attempting to burn down the houses that Bughuul has been seen in, in an attempt to stop the demon from getting any more children to murder their families and to stop the demon from taking those children once they've finished. 

A little romance occurs between Deputy James and Courtney after he defends her from her abusive husband. The romance was a nice touch to the story. It wasn't too intense and it didn't distract from the storyline, it just added another element of realism to the story: that even though all of this is happening at night, the family still has a life outside of these haunting experiences. There were also several flashbacks in the film, which gave us a better insight in to the abusive history of the family that the film focuses on.


Furthermore, the murder videos shown to Dylan by the dead children act as flashbacks to show the history of Bughuul's work on the children. In one scene, Bughuul is shown standing on the altar at the church, which I found terrifying. Firstly because he's a demon inside the church and secondly because he's not just inside it, he's standing on the freaking altar! Clearly we can see that Bughuul is a seriously evil entity and that it's going to take a lot more than burning down houses to stop him. 

Yet this is where the film fell just a little bit short for me. Once the killings start, the dead children constantly warn that if they aren't finished, then Bughuul will be seriously angry. Yet when Bughuul is supposedly angry, all he does is reach out and touch Zach, who then crumbles to death and then at the end of the film, appear in front of Deputy James, seemingly to kill him? It was quite a boring way for him to kill Zach, lets be honest. At the end of Sinister 1, he took the little girl who killed her family simply by picking her up and walking away with her. Here, he just touches Zach and he dies. He's a demon, surely he can do a little more than just that?




The film ends quite abruptly after Deputy James helps Courtney and her remaining son to get out of the house safely. At the end, he goes back to the motel to collect his laptop and the papers that he was using to investigate the murders caused by Bughuul. Courtney is waiting in his car with her son. In the motel room, Deputy James slowly collects his things. He hears a noise, turns around and Bughuul is leaning in to shot looking very sinister and threatening. The film ends with this cliffhanger, suggesting that (yaaay!) there will be a Sinister 3!

Overall, I thought that the storyline was one of the best I've ever watched in a horror film and I absolutely loved this film. The whole double threat idea (with the issue of domestic violence and of the demon Bughuul) worked super well, with the two storylines running cohesively alongside each other and then eventually coming together for a big finale. I would have liked to see a lot more of Bughuul. As a demon, I think he looks great. But his physical capabilities haven't been fully explored and I have the feeling that he's a demon with a hell of a lot of power. He tends to get the children to do his work, yes. But how? What is he actually capable of? What does he do to make the children scared enough to do what he says? That's what I'd like to know. Similarly, I'd also like to know what he wants these children for. If it's just to kill people, then that seems pretty anti-climatic and surely he could do that all himself? Also, what does he do to Deputy James? Deputy James has been interfering with his plans since the first film, so surely he is going to be a furious demon with a vengeance.




On a final, partially related note, I just have to express my excitement for Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. I am SO excited for this film because I saw the trailer yesterday and for the first time in Paranormal Activity history, we get to see the entities on tape that are haunting the families! I've literally been waiting for this for sooo long, because it's the reason that I've never really found the Paranormal Activity films that scary. It's set for UK release on October 23rd and you can watch the trailer below.

Thank you very much for reading!