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Ten years ago, true crime writer Ellison Oswald made his reputation with a best-selling account of a notorious murder. Now, desperate to replicate success of his first book, he moves his family into a home where the previous occupants were brutally executed and a child disappeared, hoping to find inspiration in the crime scene. In the home, Ellison discovers a cache of terrifying home movies, unwittingly opening the door into a nightmarish mystery
1. threatening or portending evil, harm, or trouble; ominous: a sinister film.
Sinister, the latest effort by Scott Derrickson, Director of "The Exorcism of Emily Rose", is a film about true crime novelist Ellison Oswalt, who is way past his 15 minutes of fame, and is trying so desperately to get it back. So what does he do? He does what any sane person would do in that situation! Move into the former residence, of the murdered family he's writing about!
What's that? Did I hear a "No Way"? You mean you wouldn't do that?
I didn't think so! All good horror movies have to follow the rules though. Run up the stairs if you hear a loud boom. Run outside towards the bad man with a weapon thinking you have the edge. And if by some chance you find evidence of a murder, don't call the police!
The fantastic thing is, Scott Derrickson has actually created a horror film that follows some of the rules, and throws in some of the cheesy moves to make girls jump, but then takes it to a darker place. "Sinister" impressed me and truly creeped me. And that's saying something, considering I'm usually the last person in the theater to be scared. I'm usually the one laughing at the silly girls in the theater screaming at the screen. But "Sinister" is something else all together.
In "Sinister", Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) moves his wife, son and daughter into the former residence of a family that was recently hanged outside in the back yard. For Ellison this was a sacrifice he had to make. His last best seller was years ago and now he finds himself strapped for cash. Considering the history, who else would be roped into buying the property? Once inside his new office, Ellison starts the research on his new book, the four murdered family members and the missing daughter. It's the perfect start to a good crime book. But after hearing a noise upstairs, Ellison finds a box of home movies in the attic. Each one more disturbing than the previous. Is this a serial killer? Are they connected? This could be bigger than his number one best seller!
I won't tell you any more, you'll have to see for yourself. But I will tell you that you will laugh, you will be startled, and might even find yourself surprised that it's creepier than you thought it would be. This isn't a Slasher film. You won't find guts pouring out of sliced up bodies. Some would even say they wanted it to be gorier than it was. But what Derrickson has created here, is a great story with a deep ominous tone. He keeps you wondering what's next and with a great performance from Ethan Hawke, you truly get sucked into the story hook, line and sinker.
What I liked most about "Sinister" is it had a very strong comedic edge to it. Horror films usually have some one liners, but this had some pretty good laughs and once your laughing and feel safe….you hear the 8mm projector running again.
My biggest warning to you is this. Stay away from the trailers to this film.
They show way too much of the storyline and truly ruin the disturbing edge of seeing these 8mm films in a darkened theater. If you go in blindly, you walk out disturbed. And for a horror, that's a GOOD thing!
I give it four 8mm reels out of five,
"Sinister" is fun, creepy and at times disturbing, especially when watching home movies about chores!