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Movie Review

Sinister 2

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, bloody and disturbing images, and language.

Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Supernatural Horror
Length:
1 hr. 37 min.
Year of Release:
2015
USA Release:
August 28, 2015 (wide—2,600+ theaters)
DVD: January 12, 2016
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Focus Features

children in peril

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Copyright, Focus Features

demons in the Bible

Satan / Devil

Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

DEMON POSSESSSION and Influence—Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer

Copyright, Focus Features

“VOTING” FOR BAD MOVIES—Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem? Answer

Featuring: Shannyn Sossamon … Courtney
James Ransone … So and So
Nicholas King … Bughuul
Tate Ellington … Dr. Stomberg
Dartanian Sloan … Zach
Caden M. Fritz … Peter
Lucas Jade Zumann … Milo
Jaden Klein … Ted
more »
Director: Ciarán Foy (aka Ciaran Foy)
Producer: Automatik Entertainment
Blumhouse Productions
more »
Distributor: Focus Features

Prequel: “Sinister” (2012)

What makes a good horror film? For the Christian, the answer is not so simple. Ephesians 5:11-12 warns us that “it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done in darkness.” How then can a horror film ever be good? If it exposes evil. In this sense, a movie about the holocaust might even be considered a horror film, but alas there is a part of human nature which is macabre. When we hear of road kill by the side of the road, our instinct is to look. So, also, horror films too often make evil entertaining and numb us to the deeds of darkness. Where then does “Sinister 2” stand?

Anyone who has seen the original “Sinister” knows that it was one of the most disturbing films I know of. Not only was it about macabre and sadistic snuff movies, but the true horror revolved around the revelation that children were the perpetuators of the crime—having been lured by a demon (Bughuul—a supposed pagan Babylonian deity) into the deeds. Bughuul seeks the most innocent to corrupt and to commit the most atrocious of deeds. After the film became a suprise hit, it is only natural that a sequel would be in the offing.

The film begins with no mystery. We know exactly what the demon wants and who his target is. The children of a woman (Shannyn Sossamon of “Wayward Pines”) are living in a house where previous killings had taken place. Immediately we see that the ghosts of the demon’s previous children are trying to make Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) watch snuff movies, realizing that he will soon come under the influence of Bughuul. In the meantime, a police detective shows up, hoping to stop another series of horrific crimes.

Ascetically, the film lacks lacks the mystery of the original, as well as the directing talents of the original. The film relies more on shock music than the original, which employed a unique and disturbing series of music choices. It also relies on more gore. While the original was grisly and sadistic, this one goes over the top. There is one scene which I cannot even speak of openly, lest I violate the commandment of Ephesians 5:12. Let us just say that it is reminiscent of something Nero did with some of his prisoners involving animals gnawing at people’s stomachs. Another scene is also reminiscent of Nero, wherein crucified prisoners were set afire. The worse part of this is that these deeds are actually performed by small children. All of the scenes from the snuff films are disturbing and violent, but these are two scenes are alone sufficient to reveal the extent of the violence, and reason enough not to recommend the film.

Another reason to discourage viewers from the film is the disgusting language hurled from mere children including the f-word and the c-word (which is hurled at his own mother). Remember that these actors are also children, so we cannot say “it is just a movie,” for children are impressionable and thus corrupted much in the same way the film depicts, but not by demons—rather by Hollywood. How many young children have starred in such films only to grow up disturbed in real life?

I previously stated that a good horror film is one which exposes evil. This film, however, revels in it. It is a retread of the original, without its mystery and without the innovating directing of the original. It relies on violence, jump music, and sadism. As such, it is impossible to recommend to Christian audiences. The R-rating should be taken very seriously. There is an ample supply of language and gore, but also sadism and demonism. In a way, the demon is the true actor of the film, and, as such, it revels in the demonic corruption of innocents.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy to extreme—“Jesus” (3), “Jesus Christ” (1), “G*d-damn” (1), “God” (2), “damn” (2), “hell” (2), f-words (8), s-word (1), “a**-hole” (1), SOB (1), and other vulgar sexual words / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

sin and the fall of man

demons and Satan

Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—After seeing the first “Sinister” film, I knew I would not be watching the sequel. I’m glad to see that the director of this sequel is not the same as the first—and the reason is because Scott Derrickson (the director of the first) claims to be a Christian.

I find it particularly tragic that people want MORE of the pure evil that “Sinister” was. And it’s just as sad that the sequel has even more onscreen gore, whereas the first movie frequently cut away before a bloody murder.

I myself can’t give this film a moral rating, since I haven’t seen it. But I will definitely say that I trust the reviewer’s rating. It was what I was anticipating. Neither “Sinister” movie belongs in any list of good horror moves (“The Babadook,” “The Ring,” “The Conjuring,” “Insidious,” “Misery,” “Poltergeist,” etc.). Though I’m sure they’re not as bad as the “Saw” movies, the “Sinister” franchise disgraces the horror genre in a similar way.
Gabriel Mohler, age 25 (USA)
Movie Critics

…“Sinister 2” can’t claim the same finesse, substituting pedestrian plotting and a more graphic gore for the original’s restraint.…
—Andy Webster, The New York Times

…Severed heads for strong stomachs… “Sinister 2” opens with three bodies, crucified and burned alive. … [1/5]
—Katherine Pushkar, New York Daily News

…A horror retread of such brainless, shameless lameness that it’s hard to imagine anyone begging for another installment. …
—Andrew Barker, Variety

…the ending is fantastically unsatisfying… [C-]
—Kyle Anderson, Entertainment Weekly

…Sinister for sure, although not particularly scary. …
—Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

…The villains of “Sinister 2” are horrid children in the grip of unseen demons… doesn’t have a particularly satisfying end — it’s somehow both too drawn-out and abrupt — but it’s got creepiness galore… [2/4]
—Kyle Smith, New York Post

…can’t quite capture the original’s menace…
—Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

…There are endless dark corners (even in broad daylight), a spook-filled basement with enough found footage to start a snuff-film archive, a paranormal expert to explain everything in five-syllable words… [2/4]
—Mike Doherty, National Post

…“Sinister 2” merely exudes an aura of cheap manipulation by which the audience is simply asked to rank the film's characters on a d-bag scale and root for their survival, or destruction, accordingly. [1/4]
—Ed Gonzalez, Slant magazine

…Subplot of abuse more frightening than ghostly gang…
—Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

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