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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sinister 2 is the sequel to the hit horror movie Sinister, focusing on a character who had a minor role in the first film. Mature horror hounds may be ready for its strong violence -- including grisly deaths (for example, people are nailed to the floor, topped with hot coals and eaten by rats), pools and streams of blood, nightmare sequences, ghosts and jump scares, as well as an abusive father and fighting -- but it's far too intense for younger viewers. Much of the violence involves two young boys, and language is also an issue (characters, including the boys, use words like "f--k," "c--t," "s--t," and "p---y"). There's some kissing and a brief reference to sex, as well as a scene of two adults drinking too much while talking, plus some brief smoking,.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Following the events of Sinister, the former deputy with no name (James Ransone) has devoted himself to preventing ghostly torment from happening again. He discovers another haunted house and sets out to destroy it, but he's too late: A mom, Courtney Collins (Shannyn Sossamon), and her two boys, Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) and Zach (Dartanian Sloan), have moved in, hiding from the boys' abusive father, Clint (Lea Coco). As he learns more about the evil entity Bughuul, the deputy finds himself becoming attracted to Courtney and dealing with the real-world threat of the violent Clint. Meanwhile, Bughuul has begun manipulating one of the brothers with a handful of kid-ghosts, and he's falling right into the monster's trap.
Is it any good?
The original Sinister was a passable chiller, but the sequel feels more like a vague attempt to continue a lucrative franchise than to create anything truly compelling or spooky. The first film had Ethan Hawke in an interesting role as a struggling writer; the sequel has only Ransone as a likably flawed hero. Even if his motives and background aren't clear, he's brave and takes charge, but still vulnerable. The other characters are thinly written, including the villains.
The movie brings back the demon (deity? boogeyman?) Bughuul, presumably in an attempt to put a scary face to the Sinister franchise, but it doesn't seem to know who he is, what he wants, or what he does. Perhaps worse, director Ciaran Foy goes with the lazy tactic of adding loud, sudden, percussive bursts of noise for every ghost appearance; it's all routine shocks and no genuine atmosphere or terror. The only good part is the strange, discordant score by tomandandy.
Talk to your kids about ...
What makes the movie scary? Have you ever been scared of something in real life that was depicted in this movie?
The ex-deputy character says he tries to help people, but he also does a few questionable things. Is he an admirable character? Is he likable?
How is drinking depicted in this movie? Are there realistic consequences?
- In theaters: August 21, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: January 12, 2016
- Cast: Shannyn Sossamon, James Ransone, Tate Ellington
- Director: Ciaran Foy
- Studio: Focus Features
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence, bloody and disturbing images, and language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.