Movie Reviews: “Sinister” (2012)


Written & Directed by Scott Derrickson.
Starring Ethan Hawk.

(Note: I wrote this review while the film was still in theaters)

Ellison Oswalt is a one hit wonder true crime author. Its been 10 years since his last popular novel and Ellison is starving for another shot at fame. He moves his family into the house where a brutal murder took place so that he can fully research his latest (and hopefully greatest) next book. While putting things away in the new attic, Ellison discovers a box containing several reels of 8mm film and a projector to play them on. Where did the box come from and whats on the film? The answers lead Ellison and his family down a horrifying path.

I enjoyed this! “Sinister” doesn’t mess around. It’s as interesting as it is morbid. There’s no bad CGI or hokey acting in this film to distract from the spookiness. Its a good original horror film. Its also nice to see Ethan Hawk in a bigger budget film again. Welcome back!

Scott Derrickson also directed the successful “Exorcism of Emily Rose.” I think I like “Sinister” a little better. Its shot dark, and practical, and the acting is much better than we’re used to in a film like this. How refreshing it was to see a new horror film in the theater and not be disappointed. Could I call it this year’s “Insidious”? Perhaps, but it’s got a very different feel. I’d like to go see it a few more times to decide if my positive vibes aren’t just based off the fact that I wasn’t disappointed. How sad is that? The state of horror has really gone downhill and for a long time. If more films like “Sinister” come out, then perhaps that trend will change. I hope it does well at the box office.

3.0 out of 4.0 stars.