Wednesday Movie Night: Sinister (2012)

It seems like all horror movies are the same nowadays. They have stringy looking little girls that are eerie. Also, now you got to blend it with torture scenes since movies like Saw have brought that heightened into the horror genre too. So we have dark spooky kids, and a few torture images. Scott Derrickson specifically is a director of horror though, and he isn’t too bad. He does know how to provide a few spooks, and try to get you off your seat, the thing is the tactics just feel repetitive, and you don’t really feel scared.

A writer, Ellison, moves into a home to research murders that occurred there, but his family doesn’t know that they have just moved into a former crime scene. When asked he even lies to his wife. He finds a film though that contains footage of the murder at work, and it isn’t just on the family he is researching, but he finds a whole lot of murders that were committed. Not long after watching this film strange things begin happening to his own family, and in the house.


Sinister does have it’s creepy moments, but those mainly only come when he is watching the creepy old clips of film that he has found. There are a couple of good shock moments where the music, and images work together to actually cause you to jump. You’re hoping this builds up to something really interesting though, and that is where it falls flat and loses all it’s terrifying factor. Especially when you see the kids running around, and see their faces are way to heavily loaded with makeup to be scary.

Ethan Hawke is a pretty good actor, and I think he portrays Ellison well. He does make you feel for him, but it’s also a little difficult to feel that bad considering he dragged his whole family into this. You feel bad for the rest of them, but they are honestly sort of bland. Juliet Rylance is his wife, Tracy, and she is probably the one you feel worse for because she is already thinking about leaving the guy, and probably really wished she had by the end of it. Ellison seems more obsessed with finding his fame again though than the welfare of his family, until the ending that is when it’s too late.

Sinister did have potential to be a good movie though. It fails because it leads up to nothing. Basically it builds up and poof you’ve somehow wasted almost two hours. What was the point? I understand some people just want a few terrors, but ultimately you want to feel that you watched something that has a point. Horror needs to try to begin incorporating this back in. We need to see a purpose grander than just terrifying people.

The movie runs a little too long for having no point, but it is interesting up to the last half hour or so, and does provide some moments that scare you enough to stick with you. The actors are decent including the kids, which can be a rarity. Derrickson has potential to keep working toward being a memorable horror director, but he still has some story development to work on. What was shocking is that I did care about the characters a little, and felt deeply bad about the outcome of some of them. Overall, it’s a little bit too repetitive, and genre needs a little bit of a kick.

Rating 5 of 10.

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