Rating: R (NOT FOR KIDS; while not as gory as some horror movies, this film focuses on murder and psychological horor, so not for the kids)
Release Date: 2012
Director: Scott Derrickson
Writing Credits: Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill
At a Halloween party over the weekend, a friend decided that everyone should watch Sinister, which he greatly recommended (and horror is his favorite genre). So we agreed. Although I’m sure some of my friends regret watching movies with me because I am a commentator. This movie was no exception.
The movie starts out with Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) and his family moving into a home that (unknown to the rest of his family) is at the center of a murder mystery he is investigating for his new book. He finds a bunch of 8mm home videos and decides to watch them. Only he finds out that the films cover 50 years and all end with the family dying in various different ways. Things continue to go south in many ways for him as he continues his investigation. It begins to affect his children and wife. (The effects on the kids is another reason why this movie is not for kids).
It is your standard horror movie, with the psychological elements that come with it. Writing wise, its well written. I think the idea of tying into a fictional pagan deity was a bit much, but it worked within the film. The minor characters seem to have a lot more sense than I usually see in a horror film which was also a nice change.
The cast, other than Ethan Hawke, was pretty new to me. However they all did an excellent job. The girl who played Ashley Oswalt (Clare Foley) might be familiar to some as she played a recurring character on Gotham (Ivy Pepper).
The soundtrack was amazing though, and perhaps the best part of the film.
My overall enjoyment of the film was so-so because Horror films don’t seem to appeal to me. I spend too much time mocking the characters. But this movie overall if taken analytically was a well put together movie. My only criticism is some of the lighting in some of the scenes could have been better.
Deputy So-and-So (who I see as the most sensible person in this movie) returned for the sequel, which came out in 2015. It has Shannyn Sossamon in it, which intriqued me but I don’t think I’ll be watching the sequel.
Final Grade: A