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Sinister (2012)

  Tags: Automatik Entertainment, Blumhouse Productions, C. Robert Cargill, Ethan Hawke, found footage, James Ransone, scott derrickson, Sinister, Vincent D'Onofrio

Your rating: None Average: 8 (27 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

sinisterposter.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Scott Derrickson
Runtime: 
110
Cast: 
Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, James Ransone, Juliet Rylance


Scott Derrickson proved to be a fairly competent horror director with The Exorcism of Emily Rose back in 2005 and luckily doesn't disappoint with his return to the genre in the form of Sinister--the latest moderately-budgeted supernatural endeavor that proved to bring in some decent coin at the box office. A lot of hype had built up for the film prior to its release, so I went in with above average expectations and although I was letdown by the execution of its scares, I found the rest of the film to be rather refreshing, especially considering the latest movies within the genre have been far from creative.

The story follows a struggling true-crimes author named Ellison (Ethan Hawke) and his wife and kids, as they move into a new house that was previously home to another family before they were all hung to death at a tree in the yard. Of course the writer's wife and kids don't know this little detail, but Ellison hopes that being in the place where the horrendous crime took place will help him with the new book he's writing.

While exploring the attic during the move, the writer stumbles upon a box that contains an old projector and 8mm film reels. It turns out that the reels contain footage of the previous homeowners murder, along with the murders of several other families. As the story progresses more details are revealed along with the revelation of a mysterious individual linked to all the deaths simply known as "Mr. Boogie."

It's pretty obvious that the producers hoped to recreate the same kind of success they had with Insidious for Sinister (even the titles are similar), but while Insidious had some solid scares, it delivered a mediocre story. It's actually quite the opposite for Sinister--offering an intriguing story, but conventional scares. That's really my biggest complaint with the film, since I was able to predict each time a scare was going to occur; offering little as far as unpredictability goes. What's even worse is these scares were the standard ones where something would pop out of nowhere accompanied with a loud noise (*yawn*).

It's sad considering there were some very dark and potentially creepy scenes spread throughout the flick. It just seemed like there were several missed opportunities for something unique to occur had the execution been a bit more thought out, but I digress. Apart from these complaints, Ethan Hawke delivered a solid performance and I really dug the fascinating storyline and the lore behind this mysterious individual that's seemingly behind all these unusual and violent homicides. Though I expected something a bit more surprising or dark to come from the climax, I still enjoyed it regardless. Be sure to check cinema listings London if you're outside the US and plan on catchin' the flick.

Sinister offers a fascinating storyline and some dark and creepy scenes, but ultimately disappoints in certain aspects due to its easily predicted and conventional scares. Aside from that, it's still a solid piece of modern horror cinema that's worthy of at least one viewing.

Posted on October 15, 2012 - 6:26pm | FrighT MasteR

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