Movie Review with Jeff McCullough: Sinister 2

By Jeff McCullough on August 30, 2015 from Movie Review via

Sinister 2 has, at least momentarily, messed me up. There are two scenes that I know for a fact, I'm not getting out of my head anytime soon. And that’s saying something, considering some of the crazy stuff running around up there.
Indeed, I am probably one of the most jaded, de-sanitized individuals you'd ever care to meet. I’ve seen all manners of entertainment, stuff that’d make Freddy Krueger’s skin crawl. Point is, it's not easy to get in my head, and Sinister 2 managed it. It’s one of the nastiest movies I can remember getting a wide release, and its successfully creeped the heck out of me. And for that I can applaude it.
What I can't applaude is the awful acting, cringe-worthy dialogue, and complete mockery of Bagul. The scary murderous demon from the first film is turned into a haunted house attraction here, popping out of everything from Polaroid’s to a ham radio. And the kids. Don't get me started on the kids.
Children are famously horrible at everything, making movies is no exception, but I swear, the Gerber baby could act circles around these rug rats. As opposed to the original Sinister, where the narrative focused on the adults, the sequel spends an extensive amount of time with a bunch of undead, snot-nosed brats. A frankly horrible idea, it takes away the things that made the original so intriguing. Instead of suspense or mystery, we get a bunch of albino zombie children milling about and being generally boring little idiots.
And boy am I sick and tired of jump scares. Every five minutes we getting something popping on camera, let out a scream, and promptly disappear. While Sinister 2 is hardly alone in this sin, it’s the worst offender I’ve seen in a while. Giving people heart attacks doesn’t make a good movie. Tone, mood, a slowly growing sense of dread--those are essential elements. An overly obnoxious demon hopping around and yelling “BOO!” is not.
So yeah, I might be roasting this film pretty hard but you know what? If you can handle it, I say go see Sinister 2 anyway, because the scenes that will mess you up WILL mess you up. Paranormal Activity this is not. The violence is brutally realistic, the nastiest scenes being shot by the zombie kids on an old 8mm camera. The violence itself, while extensive, doesn't bother me.  It’s the looks in the victim’s eyes; while I won’t spoil too much, the context makes those glares bone chilling.
Show me a half dozen teens taken out by a dude in a hockey mask, eaten by sharks, reverse-bear trapped, whatever, doesn't faze me a bit. But watching a helpless family as their doom slowly approaches, that’s cold as ice. It's a real shame there's not a better film around these segments, because they're really something to dig deep into your mind.
I'm very torn about what rating to give Sinister 2 because while there are moments of real greatness, there just chocolate chips in a brownie made of something stinkier. Alas, in the end, the good does not outweigh the bad, but I still think this is a film worth seeing. Know that's its imperfect going in, and it’s possible to have a good enough time. As for me, I’m going to go take a long shower and a nap. Gosh knows I need it.
2 out of 5

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