Monday, October 15, 2012


Despite a few minor idiotic decisions made by some of the characters in the film and an irritable fascination by Ethan Hawke's character to never turn on lights, Sinister is a pretty great film. It's creepy as hell and has a perfect setting and atmosphere for this kind of film. It also goes for the scare over the gross out which is a pretty consistent trait with a lot of my favorites of the genre.

The problem with writing this review is, I really don't want to tell you anything. I don't want to oversell a big twist or anything like a lot of people did with Cabin in the Woods earlier this year, but like that film I feel it is best to experience this one with as little knowledge as possible.

Unfortunately the previews give away a few things. This isn't he escapes the island kind of territory like in the trailers for Castaway, but it's still a little irritating.

I will tell you that the film centers around the character of Ellison Oswalt (Hawke). Oswalt is a true-crime novelist who found major success with his first book and hasn't really been able to catch that magic since. He gets wind of a story involving a family being hung from a tree in their own backyard and their daughter turns up missing afterwards and feels like he might be on to another best seller. He even goes so far as to move his family into the home where all of this took place. Once there he finds some old home movies in the attic that have footage of the murder taking place at the house plus some other murders in other locations.

From there the film kicks into high gear and never really lets up. The home movies themselves provide for some true thrills. The "Lawnmower" scene, as most people, are calling it is a true highlight and will probably be one of those things you will see on shows like "Bravo's Scariest Moments in Film" a few years down the road. Also, Hawke's children have their own problems involving Night Terrors and imaginary (or maybe not so much) friends that are secondary to the story for the most part, but create even more tension and scares along the way to the big finale. All of this makes you question even more what is really happening, and it got to a point where I wasn't sure I wanted to find out. 

I really don't want to say too much else. This film is by no means a game changer for the horror genre, but it doesn't have to be. It's a cool, scary flick for the Halloween season, and I can't reccomend it enough. Go see it already.


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