Sinister (2012)

Ethan Hawke stars as a struggling author who moves his wife and children in to the home of a recently murdered family in the hopes of uncovering some sort of missing evidence for his new crime novel. What he finds hidden in the attic during his research will not only chill him to the bone, but will place his entire family in the hands of a sadistic serial killer! Director Scott Derrickson takes a stab at the supernatural thriller in 2012's SINISTER, although he only achieves moderate success due to several unfortunate decisions in the film's final act. SINISTER opens with a chilling mystery as Ellison Oswalt (Hawke) uncovers a box filled with home movies that portray the grisly deaths of several families at the hands of an unseen killer. These nerve-wracking scenes would be entirely unbearable if it weren't for a few timely edits that save us from utter despair just as the most disturbing images are about to be displayed. The sound design is incredibly grotesque and unsettling, as well, and is responsible for a number of well-earned scares. Derrickson, who offered us the respectably-reserved THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE back in 2005, then goes on to destroy all of the film's credibility by revealing the supernatural elements to the audience. This leaves us with a devastating sense of disappointment after such a powerful build, and cheapens the scares in SINISTER severely. What is left over can most easily be compared to the other ghostly let-downs found in INSIDIOUS and DEAD SILENCE. SINISTER is worth a few good scares, but ultimately fails in the end.

Rating: 7/10.

Movies like SINISTER:
INSIDIOUS, DEAD SILENCE, 8MM, A HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, THE COLLECTOR, LOVELY MOLLY.

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2 comments:

  1. It's not as freaky as I would have liked it to be, but with a moody atmosphere, it still delivers the goods on being scary in the right way a horror movie should. Great review Carl.

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  2. I stand by the first act as being one of the strongest set ups in recent Horror, it is just too bad that it fell apart by the end. It got me a few times, though!

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