by Jeff Schultz

Check out Stormy’s and my reviews of the first one. Same applies here. It’s another winner, and for the same reasons. What we get is a slight advancing of the original, with jolting variations on the first one’s scariest element: the torture killings. Here, be they by fire, by ice, by beasts or electricity, they are (again) deeply disturbing and unsettling. James Ransone’s welcome return is matched by… well, the credits say Shannyn Sossamon, but I’m damned if that isn’t the young Jessica Lange. The plot is woven through with a well-played family struggle that could have succeeded as straight drama. Its realism helps make us believe in the horror. Kudos to two unknowns, Lucas Jade Zumann and Lea Coco as, respectively, boy and man villains. There will clearly be more SINISTERs (a double digit opening, if barely), and I say if they’re as good as the first two, bring ‘em on!

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