Not a Sinister rip-off, not quite your standard haunted house movie. You'd be forgiven for looking at the title and budget of Sinister House and dismissing it on that basis – straight-to-DVD cinema is rife with cheap supernatural schlock with a badly photoshopped house on the cover, after all. Skip this one, however, and you might just be missing out on a treat.
Part female take on Shallow Grave, part (yeah, okay) supernatural horror movie with a badly photoshopped house on the cover (this is 101 Films, after all), its pace is languid, more drama than balls-out thriller. Wrong Turn 6 star Sadie Katz heads up the cast, playing one of three sisters, stealing a massive stash of drugs and holing up in their old family home. Cabin fever and demons from their past take a hold, and it's not long before the sisterly in-fighting takes a terrifying new direction.
Its low budget and point-and-shoot style of filming won't be to all tastes (slick Blumhouse horror this ain't) but it offers a story that's a little bit different and a set of characters who are engaging and memorable, even if they frequently fail to be likeable. Its three actresses do well enough with the material – particularly Katz, who should be well on her way to becoming a horror 'name' by now.
Not a Sinister rip-off, not quite your standard haunted house movie. Sinister House sometimes struggles to be as watchable as either of those things, but pulls it off more often than not, especially during its demented final act. Badly photoshopped house or not, what's inside is well worth a look.
SINISTER HOUSE / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: JIM TOWNS / SCREENPLAY: JIM TOWNS, SCOTT FRAZELLE / STARRING: SADIE KATZ, HEATHER L. TYLER, CHERYL BONTY, LISMARIE COSTABILE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW