For the sequel, Álvarez has handed directorial duties over to Rodo Sayagues, who never manages to match the intensity and shot composition that made Álvarez's entry so watchable. Sayagues and cinematographer Pedro Luque bathe everything in nearly impenetrable darkness, and when they're not doing that, they're filling the frame up with smoke. There are several different sequences where it's impossible to see anything, and I don't think it's because the filmmakers are trying to comment on the main character's blindness. There's a lot of bursts of action here, but almost all of them are shot in shaky close-ups.
Norman would rather block out the world, but he can't hide forever. One night, a gang of creepy goons shows up, bursting into the house and coming after Phoenix. Here, the movie is attempting to make us like Norman even more by making these home invaders downright repulsive, and on that front, it's successful. They're all portrayed as a group of unwashed creeps who don't so much smile as they do peel back their lips and reveal glistening teeth. The leader of the group, played with real menace by Brendan Sexton III, is particularly loathsome. 59ce067264