One of the creepier mainstream horror films of the past several years, “Sinister” succeeded, up until its lackluster, predictable climax, in being what big-studio horror films have managed not to become over the past decade or so: atmospheric, scary, and effective in creating a believable setup while being outlandish enough to force a suspension of disbelief.
And given the events of the first film, it seemed unlikely that Ethan Hawke would be back for a sequel, and indeed he is not. Replacing him is the far less appealing Shannyn Sossamon, though to be fair this film is much more child-centric than the first.
But can “Sinister” rely on Bughuul’s scariness again and ride it into a bankable franchise? Horror films have a built-in audience and are almost always profitable even if they don’t become runaway hits, so chances are good it will at least recoup operating costs and bring the studio a healthy if unspectacular carrot.
A horror movie doesn’t have to be good to make money, but if you want it to be remembered, it helps to have some quality. With scarefests like “It Follows” and the remake of “Poltergeist,” we have seen some worthy entries this year. Whether “Sinister 2” will stand out is yet to be seen.