Sinister (2012)

spoiler free

Sinister review

sinister poster

Horror movies have recently been coming out pre-packaged with accepted failure. The general audience has come to terms with the fact that there have not been many good horror movies coming out in recent years. Mostly bad sequels, unnecessary and shameful remakes, and failed concepts, as well as an overabundant amount of torture porn, with the growing sub genre started by films like Hostel and the countless Saw sequels. There have definitely been a lot of bad horror movies recently, but the genre isn’t doomed. I don’t discount horror films based on their genre. I went into Sinister expecting, or at least hoping for a good horror film.

I like really bad horror movies. A lot actually. I used to watch a lot of bad horror movies, and I had a lot of fun doing so. I realized that I hadn’t been watching bad horror movies for a while, and that actually made me miss, sub-par horror films. I’m going to go out of my way to watch bad horror films now. So with Sinister I had a 100 percent chance of winning. Either it’s a good film, or it’s bad, either way I’ll end up enjoying it. Thankfully for the general viewing audience who doesn’t share my strange outlook on bad movies, Sinister is actually a good movie.

The movie has plenty of flaws, including one, near fatal, but I’ll get to that later. Sinister was directed by the same guy who did The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I’ve never seen this film, nor do I plan on it, but I can safely say that it is in fact a movie.

Sinister stars Ethan Hawke, who I haven’t really seen in much else. He was really good in this though, so I might check out some other stuff with him in it. 

ethan hawke

The acting in horror movies is usually questionable at best, but it’s all solid here. There are supporting cast members  but it’s largely just Ethan Hawke for the majority of the film. He does a really good job of reacting to what’s going on. He seems genuinely scared in the situation, which in turn helps the audience feel the same way. Nothing kills the scare factor like the main character just shrugging everything off.

The very first shot of the film sets the tone for the movie. In the very first frame of the film we see a family of parents and children being hung from a tree. This is the first of a series of found footage segments. I’m not a fan of found footage. I think that it’s generally overused and gimmicky, but in Sinister it’s used very sparingly and to great effect. In this case, it’s actually a crucial part of the story. Most of the film is shot normally, but then we get these found footage segments which come from Ethan Hawke playing super 8 film (Which have been showing up more and more) These segments are where the true horror comes from. The true horror of these segments forgives the artificial fear invoked by the jump-scares at other parts of the film. Each of these segments shows a family being murdered in a different grisly way. These parts are shot in such a realistic way, that it’s hard to watch. You feel like you’re sinisterwatching people actually get murdered. It will really unnerve you. Some of these segments feel a little off compared to others. For an example without spoilers, let me just say that the lawn one feels out of place next to the more fitting car and pool ones.

There are some shots where nothing is happening, but the music just makes you uncomfortable. This is especially noticeable during the found footage segments. Whoever did the score for this film should win an award. The most impressive piece of music in the film to me at least was the music that played during the car part.

From the trailers you get the impression that the movie focuses around this ghost type thing. This thing is actually of a mythological background and is named baguul(not sure how to spell that). Baguul is not actually in the film very much. Most of the time you see him is either a in a still image or a jump scare. I think this is a good thing. Movies often overuse something scary, to the point where it becomes monotonous.

The movie builds excellent tension, and the ride leading up to the finally is fantastic, however the ending leaves much to be desired. Once the children start coming out, all tension is lost, and any potential mystery or fear is gone. The ending seems a little rushed and leaves you without the final pay off that you would expect. The ending really lowers the film, but don’t let that stop you from seeing the movie. I thought that Sinister Was a great time leading up to the lackluster finale. So much so that it remains a good time. Sinister is worth watching. It will creep you out.



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