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In Sinister, the world was introduced to the malicious supernatural entity Bughuul through a series of hard-to-watch "kill tapes," and he’s coming back for more murderous mayhem in the sequel Sinister 2, which still doesn’t have the subtitle Electric Bughuul-oo. Last year, I visited the set of Sinister 2 and took part in a roundtable interview with director Ciaran Foy, writer (and the first film’s director) Scott Derrickson, and stars James Ransone and Shannyn Sossamon. They were all understandably reluctant to reveal too much, but they let just enough info out to make us excited.
Here are three big changes we’re going to get out of Sinister 2 when it hits theaters on Friday, August 21. And yes, it’s more than just "Ethan Hawke isn’t in this one." Although that is certainly true here.
We’ll Learn More About Bughuul’s PastWhen asked about whether or not the film would go into the mysterious entity’s background, Foy says that the "mythology behind him expands a little bit." I doubt we’re going to get a Wikipedia-like rundown of his birthplace and what kind of sports he played in school, but it’ll be interesting to see just what aspects of his character get focused on, and I’m guessing that the artful approach to his "projects" comes up. In particular, it sounds as if his backstory is tied into a church, which will itself play a big role in the film. While talking about how a church from his youth inspired the one seen in the film, Derrickson said this:
For me, it was just starting with a place and an architecture that has no religious connotations – it’s purely imagery, you know? – and it ends up becoming a place that Courtney, the character Shannyn plays, ends up spending a lot of time, and has reasons to be there. And it has a dark history that ties into the Bughuul mythology.
So does Bughuul have ties to theism, or is there something about the architecture that inspired this ghoulish bastard’s seemingly endless plight on humanity? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Deputy So and So is Now the Obsessed OneJust because Ethan Hawke won’t be in this sequel – hey, it got mentioned! – that doesn’t mean Sinister 2 won’t feature any of the first film’s human characters. Actor James Ransone will be back as the amusingly awe-struck Deputy So and So. And he’ll actually be something of a stand in for Hawke’s Ellison Oswalt in the Bughuul-hunting department, as the sequel starts off a couple of years after the events of the first film, and So and So is now the guy obsessed with trying to bring a sense of non-parent-murdering justice to the world. When asked about what his character’s mission is in this follow-up film, Ransone explains how So and So approaches the quest to stop the videos from being made.
My obsession picks up where Ethan’s ends, you know, and I think a lot of it is what first starts like a guilty conscience actually becomes like…to facilitate trying to correct some mistakes of the past.
So perhaps So and So sees his mission as one of a past-cleansing nature, doing good deeds to balance the wrongs (both intentional and non-deliberate) that he’s experienced in the past. Furthermore, Ransone says that he is the character more tethered to the supernatural elements of the film, while Shannyn Sossamon’s Courtney is dealing with a more personal storyline that’s running parallel to the spooky shit. Take ‘em down, So and So!
The Children Play a Bigger Part This TimeIn Sinister, Ellison’s children felt like they were largely there just to tie his character into the family-driven horrors seen on the videos, but Sinister 2 will give its young characters a lot more to do. The trailers have been pretty good about showing that off, as it seems like the children both alive and dead-ish get more screentime than the adults. Sossamon’s Courtney is dealing with an abusive ex-husband, which puts her and her twin sons Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) and Zach (Dartanian Sloan) on the run from him. (Sucks that they have to deal with Bughuul’s bandits now.) When talking about the films’ shared threads, Derrickson confirmed that the younger characters will be more important here.
The new family that’s involved with it ties into the first one in certain ways, but it’s obviously a female lead and not a male lead, and the children play much bigger roles. I’ll say that. The children’s point of view in the movie is much more significant than it was in the first one.
I’ll admit that "child actors in horror movies" is one of the banes of my existence, but this is just such a story where a child’s emotional understanding of his or her situation is just as intriguing as the gory murders captured on film. These kids have been through awful situations under a boogeyman’s control, and getting their input will hopefully add layers to the story. Plus, Foy directed the pretty stellar 2012 horror flick Citadel, which turned a pack of roaming teenagers into one of the more legitimately disturbing threats in the horror genre. If Sinister 2 allows its children access to even half of that dread factor, I’m on board.
Sinister 2 will hit theaters on Friday, August 28, 2015. But not in Super 8 mode.