'Sinister 2' Star Shannyn Sossamon and Producer Jason Blum on Working with Children in a Horror Film

Sinister 2 movie Shannyn Sossamon

Bughuul is back and ready to turn your children into bloodthirsty little demons for a second time! SINISTER 2 which drops on August 21st, explores more mythology behind it’s twisted boogeyman and hopes to inflict more paranoia about what might be lurking under your bed after you hit the lights. SINISTER 2 focuses on a new family about two years after Bughuul unleashed his terror on Ethan Hawke’s family. This time around, “Mr. Boogie” finds his two victims in 9 year-old twins Dylan and Zach portrayed by real life brothers Robert and Dartanian Sloan. In this installment, children play a much larger role than the previous and according to producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity), dealing with kids on set aint’ so easy!

“It’s very hard to shoot with kids, you can only shoot very short hours. There are tutors on set….It added a bunch of days. We had shot SINISTER 2 in many more days than we normally do. We generally shoot a movie for 20-25 days and I think this movie was 30-35.”

Shannyn Sossamon (A Knights Tale) who plays the mother of the twins is no rookie to the horror genre. While she stars in the spooky television series Wayward Pines and is appearing in the upcoming Sleepy Hollow series, Sossamon revealed to Cinemovie that she still doesn’t fancy the horror genre at all. The actress admitted that she has a tough time posting things to social media like, “Spread the fear,” even when the studios encourage that she does.

“I don’t really want to spread the fear. It’s so upsetting. I’ve been thinking about what scary movies have stayed with me. I know it’s “Freddy Kruger” and “Children of the Corn” and I don’t even like them. I’m not a horror fan, so it’s not like I love these movies. I maybe saw them once and had nightmares to this day. It leaves an imprint.”
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Remember having to sneak into those R rated horror movies as a kid? You can bet the twins want to see themselves on the big screen, but no way is mom letting them! In preparation for their roles, the 9-year-olds were only allowed to see the trailer to the first Sinister and got to watch their first horror film, The Sixth Sense.  Their little taste of horror still wasn’t enough to prevent them from getting a little freaked out on set though. Sossoman told Cinemovie that that the twins were a bit frightened by her acting during some of her overly emotional mother scenes. 

“I think I scared them sometimes, because there are a lot of Courtney scenes where she’s worried and frightened and angry, so I really go there and they were uncomfortable sometimes. I would tell them before we shot, I’m going to grab you really tightly right now because the scene calls for it, so I need you to work with me here.”

Rounding out the Sinister team, was director Ciaran Foy (Citadel), who was hired for his knack to direct children. His movie Citadel garnered the attention of writer Scott Derrickson and Jason Blum and after some tweeting back and forth, he landed the gig. Foy knew taking on the film would be no easy task though considering he had to find identical twins who could act and properly steer the emotion of the film. He encouraged casting to look in unorthodox places, so they could find some raw talent untarnished by stage-moms.

 “In Citadel I found most of my kids at a local martial arts school. The reason I did that is when you see a kid that has a manager or their parents are overly theatrical, you get this kind of over theatrical performances from the kids and it never feels real. So I wanted it to feel like they had a gritty and raw personality, said Foy.

In this movie they found these kids that play hockey. They’re brothers, so they had a rapport with each other that you don’t normally get if they were two kids that just met for the first time, added Foy.

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Foy explained that while making a horror film there’s actually a lot of laughing on set. In fact, he said that everyday on set was like Halloween for these kids.

“They know Nick behind the Bughuul mask, he’s their friend. I had to ask them to stop kidding around because he can’t see and they’re tapping him on the back or they’re pulling out their prosthetic makeup. It’s a kind of circus that you have to calm down.”

SINISTER 2 haunts theaters on August 21.

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