With Halloween upon us what better time to review “Sinister,” one of the latest scary movies to hit the box office?
In the film, actor Ethan Hawke stars as struggling, true-crime novelist Ellison Oswalt who moves his wife and two kids to a new town to investigate a murder case for his latest book. Little does his wife (Juliet Rylance) know, Ellison moved the family into the very house where the murder took place just months before in the backyard – the previous family discovered hanging by nooses in a tree in the backyard.
The story begins to pick up its pace when Ellison finds a mysterious box In the attic of his new home filled with old Super-8 reels. He quickly uncovers each reel shows the brutal murder of a different family, spanning decades all across the country. And so Ellison’s quest to solve these murders and begin writing his next best seller begins with the questions – who made these films? Why did they leave them in the house?
After doing some research with some help from the policy deputy (James Ransone) and contacting a local professor (Vincent D’Onofrio), Ellison finds out that demon named Bagul is behind the horrific murders, and that his family is now in danger.
Perhaps I’m just becoming desensitized to scary films, but I think veteran horror director Scott Derrickson (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose”) missed many an opportunity to truly scare the audience here. Although the film wrapped up nicely enough, it was an altogether underwhelming ending that left me some wanting something more.
The verdict: Step aside “Paranormal Activity 4,” despite its flaws horror fans ready for a film with an actual plot and a break from endless genre remakes and sequels should definitely check this one out.
Opened: October 12, 2012
Director: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone and Vincent D’Onofrio