'Sinister' sequel hires 'Citadel' director Ciaran Foy to steer the series
Horror franchises are difficult to get right, and it's a built-in problem that seems hard to avoid. Much of what works on us in a great horror movie is fear of the unknown, dread that the filmmaker carefully cultivates. When you end up making a sequel to a horror film, you are automatically dealing with a known quantity, and the more often you return to a movie monster, the more you familiarize it to the audience, and the less effective it becomes.
At this point, I have a hard time imagining anyone being afraid of Freddy Kruger, and if you look at the way they handled him over the run of the film series, the solution that the filmmakers embraced was to make him more and more comedy-driven, robbing him of whatever ability to scare he had in his initial appearance. It's happened with plenty of characters over time.
Scott Derrickson directed the first "Sinister," co-written with C. Robert Cargill, and the two of them have also written the sequel. Derrickson isn't directing again, though, and he used his Twitter feed to announce who would be stepping in to helm the sequel. Ciaran Foy has been hired, and that gives me hope that we'll see something interesting with this second film. Foy's film "Citadel" was a sober-minded horror film about an agoraphobic struggling to overcome a trauma from what seemed to be a random act of violence. Set amidst the grim public housing of Ireland, "Citadel" was a strong and compelling picture, and Foy seemed interested in digging deeper into his characters instead of just piling on easy scares.
The first film introduced Mr. Boogie, a disturbing nightmare figure, and for the second film to work, they're going to have to find a way to dig deeper into the mythology surrounding Mr. Boogie without demystifying him too much. It's a tightrope act that they've established for themselves, and it sounds like they've at least put together the right team to help make that happen. Blumhouse has proven itself capable at cranking out movies that have strong marketing hooks built in, but so far they haven't really shown us how they handle ongoing stories. With "The Purge" sequel this year and "Sinister 2" preparing to shoot, now's the time for the company to show that they can actually manage an ongoing series.
"Sinister 2" should be in theaters in 2015.