¨Get the kids. Pack the car. We have to leave here now.¨
It`s a known fact that before watching a horror movie you have to leave your brain out of the room. I usually hate horror movies because I find them predictable and dumb. Most of the leading characters end up making really bad decisions. These rules aren't the exception with Sinister. The film has several plot holes (like how the police officers can’t make the connections between the murders in the first place) and it also has the leading character making one terrible decision after another. Despite all that, and a terrible ending, I still found some sort of enjoyment in this film. It did manage to scare me in a couple of scenes and for that I must give credit to a horror movie. It`s really hard to find a scary movie nowadays, and Sinister did manage to make me jump on a few occasions. By no means am I saying that this is a great film, but I will admit that it was enjoyable for at least more than half of the film. Sinister was directed by Scott Derrickson who also directed The Exorcism of Emily Rose. This film also deals with supernatural powers, but is much more violent and spooky. There are several scenes of homemade video murders that will give you some goose bumps. The screenplay was written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. Like in most films of this genre the easy part is to find some spooky scenes, the difficult part is to find a decent ending to put everything together. Sinister fails to find a satisfying ending, had it found one it could have been one of the best horror films in a long time. I can’t recommend Sinister unless you are a huge fan of the genre; otherwise it is yet another forgettable picture.
The movie opens with what looks to be a homemade video of a family being hung over a tree in their backyard. Then we are introduced to the main character: Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) who is moving in to the house where the horrific murders took place. Oswalt is a true-crime novelist who became famous for his first book on a crime he investigated in Kentucky. His next books didn’t have the same success so he and his family are going through some rough times economically. The reason Ellison wants to move to this house is because he thinks he can write another powerful novel on the horrific murders that took place in the house. Moving to that same house would be a great start for his investigation. His wife, Tracy (Juliet Ryliance) and their two children Ashley (Clare Foley) and Trevor (Michael Hall D´Addario) do not know about the terrible murders that took place in that same house, and Ellison tries to keep it that way. Once they arrive at the house, Ellison finds a box containing a projector and several super 8 films of footage from horrific murders (including the murder in his own house which we saw at the beginning of the movie). This all seems as great material for his next book as he begins to investigate each one of these murders and finds some connections between them, but the more he digs deeper into the case the more strange things begin to get around the house. The question he has to ask himself is whether he and his family can remain safe there.
The film has some interesting premises but it does get very predictable half way through the movie. Sometimes I just felt like hitting Ellison for all the terrible decision he was making (so typical in a horror film. Ethan Hawke gives a pretty solid lead performance, despite all the mistakes he makes you still end up caring for him. He is really the only character that is developed in the story. The rest of the cast you could really care less for, especially the wife who I didn’t like one bit. I thought Ryliance`s performance wasn’t really up to par with Hawke`s. The chemistry between them was nonexistent. The kid actors were good, but they really weren’t developed at all. The entire film was focused around Hawke and his investigation of the murders. There were a few other supporting characters, but none really worth a mention. Sinister has a terrible ending and that really cost the film in my opinion because it did have some potential. It isn’t a great horror film, but it probably is the best one of the year.