Any successful horror film is always prone to having a sequel made for it. From a business sense, it’s incredibly logical. Horror films can be done very cheap and make large amounts of money in its wake because there is always an audience for them. Blumhouse productions have become probably the most successful horror production company around recently. Now of course, they aren’t strictly horror driven. They produced last year’s masterpiece “Whiplash”, but that’s their main forte. “Paranormal Activity”, “Sinister”, “Insidious” (among so many others), and now comes a sequel to one of their most popular and well respected entries “Sinister 2”.
For me, “Sinister” has to be one of the best recent mainstream horror films. It was put atmosphere first, with only a few well placed jump scares, well done acting, and a chilling ending (I was thinking about “Sinister” long after it was finished). Yet horror sequels rarely live up to the first one, and “Sinister 2” doesn’t look like it’s coming anywhere near it’s predecessor. Hopefully this is just a sloppy trailer and not indicative of the movie’s actual quality.
I went back and re-watched the original trailer for the first movie and realized what they did wrong here. They showed their main villain way too much (unlike the first movie). In the first film, the demon (Bughuul) is shown a little bit here and there, but he is left doing very little action. He is seen only creepily standing or watching our main characters; there is very little movement and it’s not part of the action. Bughuul is in the foreground, which gives him his creep factor. Here, he looks like he is just another horror movie killer. He is very much ingrained into the action of the story, and he just doesn’t feel very scary. Now, I’m all for change and not sticking with what worked in the first movie, but here making Bughuul more integral robs him of what made him terrifying.
Children can be creepy, but it’s an overused trope of horror. That was the weakest part of “Sinister”, but director Scott Derrickson made it work and gave us some eerie moments out of the creepy children cliché. Here for “Sinister 2” the creepy children look like children….? There isn’t anything creepy about them nor scary, so what’s their purpose in this newest movie? (They actually seem quite friendly and polite. Did they learn those manners from Bughuul? ).
The most troubling aspect of this newest feature is the choice in director, Ciarán Foy. Nothing about the trailer “screams” skill or unique take. It appears like a less than capable director trying his best to pretend to be Scott Derickson. “Annabelle” director, John R. Leonetti, did his best to pull off a James Wan impression, missed his mark but came pretty damn close in certain areas. Here it looks more like when a kid tries to pull off a Derek Jeter spin throw, deep in the hole at shortstop. It sort of looks like the throw, but it isn’t away near the skills level that Jeter perfected the throw at (if you’re not a baseball fan I apologize for that analogy).
As a fan of the first film and a fan of horror films, I come away from this trailer actually being pretty disappointed. I still (obviously) am going to go in with an open mind, but my expectations have been greatly lowered (further than where they already were, which wasn’t that high).