Sunday, 14 October 2012

Sinister Review

Halloween is fast approaching and so traditionally there's going to be quite a few horror films in cinemas. Sinister is one of the first of this year's bunch, but if they all turn out this good then we're going to be in for a treat this year.

Sinister revolves around true crime novelist Ellison Oswalt (played by Ethan Hawke) and his family as they move into a house that was once home to a family who were all gruesomely murdered - except for the young daughter of the family who's body was never found. The idea behind the move is so that the struggling author can write a new book based on the events, to propel him back to the top again.
But soon Hawke realises that this wasn't a normal murder, and after finding a box of old "Super 8" tapes in the attic he sees several more murders that he believes are connected somehow.
These films are possibly the scariest part about Sinister - they are so disturbing and uncomfortable to watch, and yet you find yourself unable to look away.

The plot is interesting, and smart and I genuinely enjoyed it. A horror can be terrifying, but if there's no story behind it then it's still doomed to mediocrity. But Sinister offers a disturbing, yet exciting tale that's paced well and full to the brim of scary moments.
My only criticism with the plot would be that towards the end it feels rushed. There was so much tense pacing but then everything comes together and wraps up in the space of around 20 minutes. This isn't a terrible flaw because the ending was brilliant, but I just felt like the big connection between the murders could have been discovered in a better way than it was.

But chances are if you're going to a scary movie at this time in the year, you're going for the scares not the story. Luckily, Sinister has plenty of scares to satisfy you.
I find that sometimes horror movies go for jump scares and not much else, which can be a problem because jump scares only really work once because after, you know what's coming.
While Sinister does have jump scares, a lot of what scared me came from the tense atmosphere that you can feel from start to finish. Not to mention the films antagonist, who is known as Buguul - his face alone is enough to keep you up at night.

Something else that helps Sinister is the cast. While it doesn't feature any huge names, all of the actors on board are talented - even the children. Casting child actors is often difficult, and a bad child actor playing a key role can be a death sentence for a movie. Luckily, Michael Hall D'Addario and Clare Foley are surprisingly good as Trevor and Ashley respectively - the two child leads of the film.
The aforementioned Ethan Hawke also delivers a good performance, especially in scenes with Juliet Rylance, who plays Hawke's wife Tracy in the film.

Sinister is one of the best horrors of the year so far. It has a great cast of characters, and is full of scary moments which are bound to satisfy any horror fan this Halloween. Thankfully, accompanying these scares is an interesting story that will keep your attention until the shocking, albeit somewhat rushed conclusion.


Good review David. A spooky film with it's attention to the atmosphere, but that's pretty much it. Everything else is scary but a bit silly in some sports, but I still had fun so I can't complain too much. 

Thanks! I think I liked it more because I'm not exactly a horror veteran, I've only really started watching them this year. But I'm hoping to see Paranormal Activity 4 and Silent Hill among others and get a bit more horror knowledge! :)

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