If you’ve seen both endings to the original, you’re probably understanding why the theatrical version was, well, the theatrical version. This serves as both a prequel and a sequel to the first and does a pretty good job at both.
Well, mostly. There are still many unanswered questions with the story. But don’t worry! There are 4 more movies to (hopefully) help answer them, and this one definitely paves the way for further sequels. It’s a little slow to get started but definitely doesn’t drag once it does. It benefits from the context provided in the first and skips past the awkward initial exposition.
It does still suffer from the same stilted, awkward dialogue as the first. Does anyone say “Sis” so much in a single conversation? Even when talking to their sister? My brother might say “hey, sis” once in a while but not as a primary address. He usually just calls me Allie. And in fact, Ali was the name of the daughter in this movie! I can never tell if it helps or hurts a movie to have my name screamed repeatedly. Okay okay, who am I kidding, it always helps.
And actually, I thought the girl playing Ali was the best actress of the group. Molly Ephraim for those curious. I did find it interesting that they stuck with the “true story based on this found footage” angle for this one while casting better-known actors. Sure, it’s not something they can really take back for future films, but I don’t feel like they needed to draw the additional attention to it.
Overall this one is a bit creepier than the first. It does rely a bit more on jump scares but I’m kind of a sucker for those. If you liked the first one, you’ll probably like this one.