Friday, August 22, 2014

Sometimes I Hate It When I'm Right

When I wrote about the promising-only-to-blow-it-in-the-clutch-because-of-the-fucking-obsession-with-franchising exercise in poor real estate decisions titled Sinister, I predicted that there would be a sequel on the way. This was pretty obviously going to be the case, given that a single antagonist was sort of clumsily shoehorned into the third act (to the point that its backstory was still being established by the end credit sequence), and the filmmakers pretty much admitted that they revised their original idea because they were concerned about the franchisability of their story. The story that the film set up initially - although creepy - wouldn't really work for subsequent iterations because it didn't have an identifiable villain or an explanation for its events. These are also the things that made the film fucking scary to begin with. No pat explanations, no mythology, no "rules" for the bad guy, just some extremely weird, dark, disturbing shit that exacts a terrible cost. That's frightening, not some mediocre makeup and jump scares. But if the motivation was to plant the seeds for an endless parade of sequels, well, that just won't do.

And sure enough, Sinister 2 is in the works. A woman with kids moves into the house from the first film (and the kids are twin boys because of course they are), thus beginning the sequence of events again. I'm sure the demon will be summoned somehow, bad things will happen, and we'll learn more about the demon, and we'll learn how to defeat it, so that Sinister 3 can change that up for no good reason or throw in some additional iteration or implausible resurrection of the bad guy after the events of 2, and by Sinister 6: 6ini6ter6, we'll be looking at a bunch of fun-loving college students who move into the house and defeat the demon in its own dimension or some hackneyed bullshit like this because that is what happens when you approach horror films as opportunities to prop the same moth-eaten costumes and cheap cinematic tricks up again and again and again for an audience more concerned with the comfortable familiarity of easy shock than actually being scared, like deep-down scared.

On the other hand, this sequel is being directed by the same dude who did Citadel, another promising-with-problems film, so maybe it'll be interesting to see a non-American sensibility at work.

Oh, who am I kidding. I'll be surprised if this is any good at all.

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