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Back to back: A Review of Sinister 2 and The Visit

 Both films had their good points, whilst lacking in some areas, but altogether were fun, scary and exactly what you would hope when seeing a horror film. 

Sinister 2, released in August, is the follow on movie from the original Sinister. It carries on the story from the first film through the eyes of the helpful detective that helped with the original Sinister investigation. He carries on the case that was started in the first one, checking up on the next house in the sequence of family murders. However, he is horrified to find the house he believes to be next in the sequence to be occupied by a mother and her two sons. James Ransone’s acting as the innocent, helpful detective is enthralling and it is easy to become attached to his character. Helped along by brilliant co-stars such as Shannyn Sossamon; even the child actors Dylan and Zach Collins were convincing in their roles. Typically, children in horror films can be very stereotypical and can end up annoying most poeple, however Dylan and Zach managed to keep annoying levels to a minimum. Throughout the film there is a lot of build up, jumpy moments and eerie child ghosts that deliver on giving you goose bumps.

All this said, the film didn’t quite live up to the first film for me. I thought that it took the supernatural aspect of the film too far. The first film worked because it kept the supernatural aspect as a background part until the end of what was basically a detective film about terrifying murders. Sinister 2 had creepy ghost children running about the whole time and tried to convince us multiple times that a 8 year old can easily tie up his whole family, get hit by a car and attacked but still be fine due to supernatural power. The scary tall figure that was prominent in the first film took a back seat for his child ghost/minion, which were altogether less frightening. Sometimes less is more and this is poignantly true when it comes to Sinister 2. On the other hand, the detective slant on this horror film makes it less conventional than your typical haunted house film, which makes it still worth a watch.

The Visit was, in my opinion, a really good watch. I personally preferred this to Sinister 2. The film is about a brother and sister, played by Ed Oxenbould, and Olivia Dejonge, who go and visit their grandparents, to find their grandparents are behaving a little out of the ordinary. Throughout the film you are constantly on edge about what the grandparents are going to do. Essentially, you are out of your seat for most of the film. The Visit also ends with a brilliant twist, which is hinted at throughout the film if you’re clever enough to pick it up!

Unfortunately, a downside to this film is the young boy in it. Although at times I found him funny, sometimes his humour didn’t fit well with other parts of the movie and ultimately got quite annoying. However, his and Olivia’s acting as brother and sister portrayed a sweet brother sister relationship. The whole family dynamic was really well thought out with Kathryn Hahn as mother, and was acted flawlessly with depth. It also showed some real family issues such as absent fathers, and its effect on the children as they grew up.

Although the behaviour of the grandparents was quite typical of most scary films, it was still frightening. I found the old people in The Visit a lot scarier than the children that Sinister 2 had to offer. However, similar to Sinister 2, some parts were unrealistic which reduced the fear factor; for example at one point the young boy was able to beat up a fully-grown man.

Both films were good horror films. I enjoyed both, although neither kept me up at night. If you can put up with the point of view style filming that The Visit uses, then it is worth a visit to the cinema to see and Sinister 2 is also worth watching if you want to feel scared.

About Annabel Horsley


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