Movie Review: SINISTER

PrintE-mail Written by Chris Holt

Sinister Review

Sinister / Cert: 15 / Director: Scott Derrickson / Screenplay: Scott Derrickson / Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone / Release Date: October 5th

The crown for the scariest film of the year so far goes to Sinister, which manages to create a crowd-pleasing, effective horror film as well as giving us a boogieman for a new generation.

True crime writer Ellison (Hawke) moves his family to a small town following up the disappearance of a young girl and hoping to score another bestseller in the process. Unbeknownst to his wife and daughter they move to the exact house where the girl’s family was executed before she vanished. Everything appears normal until Ellison finds a box of Super 8 home movies in the attic which show the family being murdered as well as others, sometimes decades apart. Through research he finds out that each executed family also had a young child that disappeared. Careful examination also reveals the presence of a dark, malevolent figure in the footage. Ellison becomes fixated on the mystery and his obsession soon puts his own family in danger.

Two things combine to make Sinister the scariest film since 2011’s Insidious. One is Derrickson’s gift for presenting us with surreal and disturbing images, a skill he had previously displayed in his last film The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Sinister is full of weird moments; the appearance of ‘Mr Boogie’ in a pool being one of them as well as the scene where the ghostly children dance around Ellison as he investigates a bump in the night. The other is the fact that home movies in and of themselves are inherently creepy especially in this day and age of programs like ‘Ghosts Caught on Camera’ you can’t help but look for something weird every time a projector is fired up. This would usually be enough to give a horror film a pass but then Derrickson paces his movie extremely well, building a palpable sense of dread and malevolence whilst never really leaving the single house location. There are jump scares here which are not telegraphed and never cheap, and they work perfectly in the context of the film.

The movie also has several moments of levity which are surprisingly hilarious; lots of great dialogue and Christopher Young’s score is worthy of mention, really adding to the overall feel of the piece with its electronic and vocal flourishes.

As good as the cast are the only bum note is Juliet Rylance as Ellison’s wife. She seems miscast and when delivering her lines doesn’t really convince. This is a minor complaint though as Sinister is one of the year’s best horror films and the beginning of a franchise that should run and run.

Expected Rating: 7 out of 10

Actual Rating:



Suggested Articles:
If the title wasn’t already taken then The Moose Head Over the Mantel could just as easily have be
Writer and director Andrew Wiest’s The Forlorned is a micro-budget entry in the caretaker-moves-to
Written and directed by Kyle Mecca, Dwelling is a by the book horror which sees a young woman delibe
A group of kidnapped people awake to find themselves tied to chairs in a windowless room and sedated
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Movie Reviews

THE MOOSE HEAD OVER THE MANTEL 16 October 2017

THE FORLORNED 16 October 2017

DWELLING 15 October 2017

COFFIN 2 14 October 2017

THE RITUAL 10 October 2017

THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE 07 October 2017

ECHOES OF THE PASSED [Short Film] 07 October 2017

BLADE RUNNER 2049 05 October 2017

ARMSTRONG 03 October 2017

DEMENTIA 13 (2017) 03 October 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner