Movies Review: ‘Sinister’ (2012)


Ellison is a onetime bestseller, who writes true crime, and he so desperately wants to have just one more great novel, so he moves his family into the house of a crime scene, and Ellison is about to learn a lot more is going on when he finds a box of home movies.


First I must preface this review by saying I wanted to poster this last month, but many problems have arisen that has stopped me from posting it.  There was work, life, and then my neighbourhood was hit with a bad hurricane and I was left without power and internet for a while.  I living like one of those classic romance novels I love.  But now I’m back, and here is the very delayed review of SINISTER.

It’s hard to come by originality these days.  Everything has been done before, so now it’s best to just hope for at least a fun or scary time.  SINISTER took me aback, because this film was rather original, and not only that, it scared me shitless.  It’s been a while since a movie honest-to-god scared me!  I was up all night looking behind me to make sure Bagul wasn’t there watching me.  I was in Horror Heaven watching this film.  So much just went right!  To start off the film had me off the bat with that eerie opening scene, which I still can’t get out of my head and then gave me a family I could root for.  The characters in this film were well rounded and I actually found myself WANTING them to get out alive from this situation.  Thankfully we had a great cast to back up these well-written characters.  Juliet Rylance was very likable as the concerned wife, while the two lead children felt rather natural.  James Ransone brought in some nice laughs as the helpful deputy (and I must say he was quite adorable as well), but in the end this was Ethan Hawke’s show.  He OWNED the movie.  He had a flawed character that could have come off unlikable, but thankfully Hawke had a well-rounded character to play with.  He had many facets to hit, and Hawke got each one 100%!  He was selfish, but was a good father.  He loves his family, but he is too into his work…and he didn’t always make the smartest decisions, but you were always there on his side.  We saw his pain and we saw his anxiety.  As an audience we were with him.  If Hawke failed us, than the movie would not have worked.

We live in an age of digital media and technology and I loved how the film took advantage of that.  The Super 8 film looks almost otherworldly and the use of iPhones and computers I thought was smart.  So many horror movies deal with found footage ideas, so the fact that these murders are videotaped brought in that idea, but it is used well.  I must say that those videotapes were nightmare-inducing.  I found myself cringing and after I went home I was terrified that the film’s villain was somewhere in my house.  I consider that a job well done!  Not too many movies stay with me after seeing it, and SINISTER can now be added to the list.

Behind the scenes, this film was aces all around.  Everything clicked from the music to the directing to the acting.  Scott Derrickson has made a fantastic film that oozed of suspense and atmosphere.  He knew how to shoot a scene and he also was able to utilize shadows in a way that added to the creep factor and then you have Christopher Young (one of my favourite movie composers) who has created a music score that fit the film like a glove.  It was eerie, out of the box, and got under your skin.  I also must say that some of those jump scares got me pretty good, and one scene involving a lawnmower even got me to scream.  That was a first for me.

If I have any flaws, it would be that the ending felt a bit rushed.  A plot point comes about, and then the film rushes to get to the ending.  It needed a little more before getting to that ending.  But this film’s ending owned me and sucker punched me.  What we have here is a smart horror film that will go down as a classic one day.  I’ve seen it twice now; have you seen it yet?

Verdict: 9/10