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Movie Review: Sinister 2

Posted August 25th, 2015 at 1:00 AM by Nolafus
Updated August 26th, 2015 at 6:56 PM by Nolafus

If you thought the first Sinister was messed up, hold on to your sanity, because you haven't seen anything yet.


For the record, I thought the first movie was decent. It at least tried to break from the traditional hollywood jumpscare routine by giving us interesting-ish characters and a plot that wasn't bad. This movie is pretty much the same, only it cranks up the demonic factor to twelve, and doesn't hold anything back. I will write this entire review just on how messed up this movie is, and I still don't think I'd get my point across enough. Let me be crystal clear about this, this movie is not for the faint of heart. Until tonight, I had yet to be really disturbed by a movie, but they hold absolutely nothing back, and it shook me to my core in a couple spots.

Okay, so let's get down to it. The first thing a horror movie should be is scary. No, I don't count a lot of jump scares as scary, as it takes little to no effort or skill at all to film something jumping towards the camera and adding a loud sound to it. What I'm looking for is tension, and Sinister 2 actually manages to keep that going throughout the movie.

Don't get me wrong, this thing is littered with a ton of jump scares, but I was actually okay with it. Every jump scare was of something you were supposed to be afraid of. I've seen too many horror movies that add in a friend jumping out of a closet, and the reason that bugs me is that all of the tension is lost. The loud noise comes on, and sure the audience jumped, but the audience knows that there's nothing to be afraid of anymore. The momentum is lost, the tension fades, and the people watching are no longer scared. Like I said before, Sinister 2 has a lot of jump scares in it, but the tension doesn't fade because it doesn't do that. They spend the entire movie building up to this climax that is extremely satisfying to watch. Maybe a bit too satisfying, but I'll get to that later. For now, let's take a look at my favorite part of any movie (or least favorite), the characters.

I must say, the characters are a big improvement over the first. They really took the time to make each of them different, and I don't think I ever thought they were fake. That being said, some of the dialogue and interactions weren't the best. A couple times they even felt cheesy. They were still good overall, but it could have been a lot better as well. They bordered on the extreme side of things, and the actors did what they could to sell it, which they did well, but the fact of the matter is that the over-reactions are still there.

Also, I didn't quite like the main character as much as the one in the first movie. I'm not sure why he's chasing the Boogeyman, as the kids say, but the movie's explanation doesn't sell it. Sure, he wants to help people, but no one would be getting that involved in it, especially when the Boogeyman starts giving off the first warning scares. It didn't quite make sense to me at first, but the sub-plots made it believable enough by the end. Overall the characters were a big improvement. They're each unique, and have complex relationships with one another. Well, there is one really forced romance in there, but thankfully they don't chase it.

Speaking of sub-plots, there's only one that matters, and it actually compliments the main plot perfectly. Actually, it's not so much a compliment, as sets the final climax into motion and adds an extra layer of tension, which I really liked. It's not there as an add-on to maybe make the characters more complex, but it's actually necessary to the plot, and if you removed it, you couldn't complete the movie. There are a few difficult points to swallow, as the writers really like to go to the extreme, but the movie sells these points well. Not enough to have me completely buying it, but only minimally questioning it.

So is this a masterpiece of horror? Not even close.

The writing is really weird. They tend to go to the extreme in situations, and rely on good acting to really sell it. The acting is decent enough to where the points make some sense, but the writing is a bit too extreme. I mean, the short romance was pretty bad. Two characters get drunk, and they try to make us believe that they start falling for each other. The actors played it well, but I doubt, given the circumstances, that the main character would actually be in the mood for romance. As much as I praised the sub-plot, the limits were stretched pretty thin. I don't want to give away anything, so I can't go into detail, but the family that has moved into the house where the Boogeyman now resides is a single mom and her two boys. The father is trying to get custody of the boys, and the way he tries to go about that just doesn't make a lot of sense. The writing of this movie must have been a really big challenge for the actors to sell, but they managed to do a pretty good job with what they were given. However, it still leaves you thinking about it and tilting your head.

Another thing that wasn't too great was the character design. Sure, the characters were interesting, but when you're a single mother fighting to keep custody of your kids, the stress is going to show. I'm sorry, but one scene where she's smoking doesn't cut it. She looks perfectly fine as if her life is completely stable, and none of the characters really look that weary. You know, what you would probably look like after what the Boogeyman puts you through.

What the Boogeyman puts you through requires a bit of computer magic to be put on the big screen, and unfortunately, the special effects that were used weren't that good. It looked fake, especially in one scene that relied way too heavily on it to work. However, most of the scares were done with practical effects, and for good reason. That CGI was really bad.

Remember when I said that this movie is disturbing? Heck, I even said demonic. Yeah, I've put this paragraph off long enough. They pulled out all of the stops when it came to this movie. I was completely fine after watching the first Sinister. The scenes were shocking, sure, but nothing made a lasting impact as I left the theater. This movie had me wearing a face of shock and uncertainty all the way home. Very few people have experienced true evil, but they must have grouped together and wrote this sequel. The few scenes in the trailer that might be considered shocking are actually some of the tamer parts of the movie. If you think electrocuting people in water is bad, just wait until the final 'movie'. My mouth hung open that entire scene because I couldn't believe they were showing some of this stuff. The camera zooms in on the most gruesome parts, and that's where this movie makes its mark. It's not so much scary as it is disturbing, but hey, I guess some people like that.

And now it's time to elaborate on what I meant by the ending was a bit too satisfying. It doesn't require much explanation, but I don't want to spoil anything. Let's just say everyone gets what coming to them, and as unafraid this movie seemed to be, it was too much of a perfect ending for me to really get behind. It ended predictably, and although the tension carries through, there isn't a moment where you're sad about a character, and that's a real shame. They could have done a very good job with that, but out of all the things to play safe in the movie, the ending wasn't the right choice.

Sinister 2 took a look at what was wrong with the original, and attempted to fix it while raising the stakes. It's a really good sequel, as we know by now what happens from one side of the story, but now we take a look at the other, more disturbing side. It's jump scares done right, and does a very good job of keeping the tension and building it. However, the climax is a bit of a let down, the plot is fairly predictable, and the writers were probably too ambitious on what they wanted to include. It's not a bad movie, but I can't recommend it to anyone, as I don't want to freak people out in the way this movie tries to. It's not for the faint of heart, and even though I'll be over the scenes in the morning, it's still pretty gruesome.

Overall, I'll give this a 7/10.

At the end, they lead the story into a third installment, and if they want to continue it I'll shove my money over to see if they can inflict permanent damage to my sanity. All I know is that these writers are insane, for better or for worse.
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  1. Old Comment
    Necrum's Avatar
    I can't wait to see Sinister 2! I loved the first one. >:3 Thank you for not spoiling anything in the review. Good to see not everyone is giving this movie bad reviews.
    Posted August 26th, 2015 at 11:05 AM by Necrum Necrum is offline