As Halloween looms before us, horror fans definitely won’t be disappointed with Scott Derrickson’s Sinister. A box of home movies leads to a film full of disturbing cinematography and ultimately, one of the darkest films of the year.
Sinister sees an egotistical crime writer, Ellison (Ethan Hawke) chase his chances of fame in probably the most selfish way possible – he moves his unknowing family into the very place a family hung in the garden, a little girl was abducted, and above all, a mysteriously grotesque spirit always seems to be around. After Ellison discovers a box of home movies in the attic, they end up becoming a huge piece to one petrifying puzzle.
The movies revealed multiple families being killed in repulsive ways. Interestingly, in every incident a child went missing and an occult symbol appeared. Stupidly deciding not to inform the Sheriff, Ellison saw stars and dug deeper and deeper to unravel the mysterious case, and with it came appalling consequences.
Humorously named video clips such as “pool party” and “hanging out” were as light-hearted as this got. In between having your head in your hands, it was unbelievable to think that sun loungers and lawnmowers can actually be quite horrifying. When I first set my eyes upon the pale-faced demon featured in the home videos, it was utterly chilling. So much so that the cinema echoed with screams!
It’s always a bad idea when a family move into a new home. The unknown is bad enough for anyone watching a horror, yet it always feels worse when the characters are unable to find their own way around the place. I loved the home movie idea, I almost felt compelled to watch them, even if they were a little sickening. In fact, I would go to great lengths to say that this film is sicker than the Saw franchise.
Ethan Hawke did a brilliant job as Ellison; he truly conveyed his emotion throughout the film. His performance was stripped back, and that vulnerability enabled us to connect with him. At times, however, I was unsure of the reality of what was on screen, as opposed to what could have been perceived as Ellison’s alcoholic hallucinations. It was really frustrating watching the creepy goings on behind an oblivious Ellison, and at the same time it was totally nerve-wracking.
Sinister is a more mentally frightening horror film, it’s not just about blood and gore. Scott Derrickson has done a fabulous job in making Sinister truly live up to its name, and the unexpected ending simply added a whole new dimension. My heart was in my mouth throughout watching the entire film. The adrenaline rush that Sinister give’s you is a good enough excuse to go and see it again and again.