October 28, 2012

Filthy Review - 'Sinister'

Sinister (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

Regardless of how good or bad this film ended up being, I can’t help but question the name of the film. It’s right up there with Insidious, which is incidentally from the same producer, in having one of those incredibly dodgy names. What does work in its favor is the fact that it reveals nothing about the plot, as was the case with Insidious.

The film itself really does rely on you not knowing too much about it before you watch it, and this has been a tough process for me. I did watch the trailer, and had read a little about it, but aside from a general outline I had avoided pretty much anything about it, in terms of the actual story. And that is how I will approach this review; you’ll get an outline but not much else. Believe me, this film works incredibly well with you not knowing what to expect.

Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) is a true crime writer and, aside from having a big hit 10 years ago, is trying to write that one big novel again. As a writer he likes to go where the story is set, and due to this he moves, along with his wife and two children, to a small Pennsylvanian town in order to write his new book. Shortly after moving into their new house, Ellison finds a box containing some super 8 films, which he then decides to watch. Well, you would, wouldn’t you?

Sinister is without a doubt a creepy movie. Whilst I watched it at the theater there were screams, and I have never seen so many people leave to, I assume, use the bathrooms. It definitely had an effect on the audience, and it did scare my Steph. I thought the story was well crafted, and not knowing too much about it kept my anticipation levels buzzing. Sinister doesn’t rely on jump scares, although there was the odd one I suppose, instead the atmosphere and reliance on the unknown really do work in the film’s favor in eliciting some genuinely chilling moments.

What did surprise me more than anything was the inclusion of some more comedic moments later on in the film. Personally I didn’t think the film needed it, although if I am honest I will say that they were very funny, and didn’t detract from the film’s heavy atmosphere.

Ethan Hawke, as Ellison, does a good job as a man who will do whatever it takes to get the job done, and even those he still has that slacker look of his youth, he gives a convincing portrayal as a parent. The film is really reliant of Hawke’s performance, and fortunately he delivers the goods.

Aside from being a scary movie (about bloody time), it is also one that does have a real sense of brutality to it. Sinister isn’t gory, yet certain elements really do pack that necessary punch in order to get the story across convincingly, and you will soon see why it got its R rating. These, coupled with the excellent score and sound design, helped to combine to make a really good horror flick. Overall, director Scott Derickson has put together a film that is designed to scare you, and it will.

It’s not too often that original horror flicks play at the multiplexes, so to see this on the big screen was a great experience. Hell, out of all the ‘horror’ flicks due for wide release this Halloween season, this is the only one that isn’t a sequel. I don’t personally think it is the best horror film I have seen this year, but it was a damned enjoyable one, and one that I will be picking up on Blu-ray.

Sinister is currently playing theaters nationwide.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

want to see it now thanks!