Ethan Hawke having moved on, it’s time for Bughuul, the fun-loving demon with a stockpile of Super-8 film, to find new playmates in this ropey sequel, where the aforementioned unkempt ghoul looks to inspire more children to murder their own families and capture the events in home-movie footage.
James Ransone, the geeky cop first time round, provides the connecting tissue here, though when he finds single mum Shannyn Sossamon and her two young sons living beside a church where unspeakable slayings have taken place he doesn’t think to mention it to her. Still, the younger boy knows the score, since sundry spectral kiddies are screening him Bughul’s showreels in the basement.
So, we also get to watch a soul-destroying succession of anonymous silent victims tortured to death behind a grain of scratchy fake-celluloid effects, thus killing any momentum in the plot, which is otherwise relatively resourceful in working Sossamon’s child-custody issues into the elaborate demonic mythology the film assumes we’re already au fait with. Overall, more grim than scary, and the pop-up bogeyman jolts lose their effect through patience testing repetition.