So many sequels fail by simply rehashing the original. This is especially true with horror films, which tend to live or die by their hooks. Deaths of major characters in the original allow for repetition almost too justifiably. Sinister 2 follows the formula of its predecessor, in which the demon Bughuul seduces a child into murdering his or her family. But it takes a new approach that allows this premise to move towards a different sort of resolution.

The first Sinister follows the efforts of the dad to understand and survive Bughuul, while the sequel’s lead is ex-Deputy So & So (James Ransone), who supported the fight in the original and has now made it his mission to destroy every house that might be targeted by this haunting. There is a new family, but their story is more about mom Courtney’s (Shannyn Sossamon) custody battle, as she is never really aware of the horrors her sons are getting into. So & So is a promising protagonist, as he is not specifically in the line of fire. Bughuul’s process harms bystanders only as much as they get in his way. Sinister presented an ominous, damn near omnipotent vision of evil; Sinister 2 offers hope for victory, or at least survival.