SYNOPSIS: SINISTER is a frightening new thriller from the producer of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY films and the writer-director of THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE. Ethan Hawke plays a true crime novelist who discovers a box of mysterious, disturbing home movies that plunge his family into a nightmarish experience of supernatural horror.
REVIEW: Director Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, 2005), returns to his horror-genre roots with this haunting flick that takes all of the familiar trappings of horror movies and turns them on their head. Producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity) joins Scott in bringing us that familiar, in your face, nerve-racking exciting feel to the film. Moreover Ethan Hawk is phenomenal in the lead role as Ellison, a washed-up crime novelist, trying to get that last hit novel to completion. I've always admired him as an actor, and while it's rare to see him outside the artsy theater scene these days, he brings the same credibility to this that he would to any film. Definitely, it's refreshing to see a horror flick where the celebrity named in the lead role isn't just simply around to collect a fat paycheck. Hawke certainly gives it his all in this one.
Like many of the really good horror flicks, one can name, Sinister is a slow in build up to the climax, but once it gets going, it turns in to a ‘soil-your-underwear’ scary flick, even though, I agree that the ‘found-footage’ thing has certainly been done to death. Having said this, don't go in expecting wall-to-wall scares, as that doesn't seem to be Derrickson's MO. However, if you’re a horror fan it’s a ‘cannot miss.’ And, if you are a mainstream moviegoer who just wants a night out at the movies around Halloween, then this flick trumps nearly every other wide release horror feature this year in terms of
jumping-out-of-your-seat scares. In addition, if you are feeling taken by Hollywood with the ‘supernatural’ duds like The Devil Inside, The Possession and The Apparition? Don’t worry; Sinister is the movie you’ve been yearning for, to help you overcome the disappointment.
Now, that’s not to say that this flick is going down as revolutionary or ground breaking because it does have a few drawbacks. I particularly didn’t like the idea that it was so similar, in theme, to The Possession. The idea of coming in contact with a mysterious box that haunts a family in a house is a bit overdone already, in my mind. Furthermore, it became a little annoying in parts of the movie where the haunting and mystery became repetitive and monotonous. Nevertheless, I felt that the scare that we expect from a horror flick was there and it certainly brings the intended impact.
All in all, if you are seeking a spine-tingling, unsettling, and hair-raising good time, then this is worth it. I think that this movie tops all of the previous horror films of the year and it deserves three and a half stars (out of five).
By Movie-Man Stan
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