Director: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Dalton Thompson, James Ransone, Michael Hall D’Addario
Once you see him, nothing can save you
Ellison Oswalt is a true crime writer who is desperate for his next project to succeed after having several failed projects during the last ten years. He moves his family of four into a house that has a haunting history. Oswalt is hoping to use the murders that occurred in this house as the subject for his new book.
While looking around in the attic, he finds a box of old Super 8 reels. The films contain footage of different time periods from the 60’s and up to last year with different families being killed off. He is noticing some demonic symbol and figure watching these murders and soon finds his own family to be in danger by the same creature that is lurking in the shadows on these films.
Sinister is actually a movie I have been looking forward to for several months now. The trailer looked interesting, it has been promoted as being from the same people who brought us one of my favorite movies from the last few years Insidious, and it is directed by Scott Derrickson. I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, but there are a few great scenes in the film. I also thought that Hellraiser: Inferno was executed. I have also seen and read a few interviews with Derrickson over this year that has made me want to see Sinister more and it did not disappoint.
Sinister is a scary movie. It succeeds in its attempt to create a suspenseful atmosphere that takes a firm grip around you and doesn’t let you go before the credits roll. It is a fun ride and I wish that I had the opportunity to see it on the big screen. This is the best horror film I have seen from 2012 so far and together with Insidious it is one of the scariest horror films of perhaps the last 5-10 years.
It’s interesting to see how Sinister kind of represent everything about horror movies from 2012. Ghost films are hot these days and it also deals with found footage which has even turned into an own subgenre of horror now. Found footage usually works best this way with a story around it instead of having the film be the entire footage. It can resemble Cannibal Holocaust in that sense, although here the footage is broken up and not that long at once.
This is definitely a movie that people need to see with a good surround system. The music and sounds in this film are brilliant and contains some of the scariest sounds I’ve heard in a film in a long while. Derrickson keeps the pacing and intensity at nearly a perfect level throughout the entire film. I’m also surprised that the production budget for this one was around 3 million dollars. Considering that Insidious had an even lower budget than that, it just shows that when it comes to creating scary films it is more about the talent than the money.
The story isn’t the greatest and might put some viewers off that can’t enjoy a film with a simple storyline (and a few plot holes). There is also not that much of character development during the film either. It focuses only on Ellison and I wish they would have given the family some more screen time early on so we could care much for them when the horror starts. Ethan Hawke has to carry the film as Ellison and he does come off strong here. The character isn’t a great male role model or family father and with a lesser experienced actor, Ellison could have turned into a douchebag who would ruin the film. Has it become a trend to have leading male characters that are bad family men in horror these days? It sure seems like it and hopefully it won’t become a trademark of the future horror outputs.
Sinister is an excellent scary ride that I think horror fans and the common audience will enjoy. It’s by all means not perfect, but it is a fun experience that I will recommend to anybody. Plug it in, turn the volume up to 11 and have fun with perhaps the scariest horror movie of 2012.