REVIEW: Sinister


600full-sinister-posterTypically Jason Blum, the producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious, a more creative horror film, takes the part of producing his latest horror film Sinister. Even before you get into the film, Sinister begins like your traditional Paranormal Activity-like introduction where in a calm and clear environment, an innocent family are moving into a new home unaware that there are dangers ahead and are, therefore, falling into a trap. However, each time we see this very regularly used beginning, we see a new original horror story. In the case of Sinister, it is still commonly based with intense and heart-pounding horror but beside that, it uses another creative method of films and expresses a hint of intelligence behind the world of horror, which does not happen often anymore.

Sinister was directed and co-written by Scott Derrickson, who previously worked on The Exorcism Of Emily Rose in 2005 and more recently the appalling remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still. So Derrickson’s work has not been widely received up until Sinister where he focuses on a number of issues at the same time. At a balanced level, he develops the plot and narrows it down to its sinister secrets and revelations as well as making us terrified by what we see on screen. Sinister has its share of violence and hideous physical appearances of some characters but unlike many plots of modern horror, it is disturbing. In fact, it maintains the same level of fright and afterthought as the first Saw film. Judging by the dirty and damp cinematography, the whole murder-mystery case through technology and well, how Sinister in general is structured mixes and creates a connection to Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. Therefore, Sinister is a crime-thriller as well as a horror-thriller.

Although he has made some great appearances in a number of films of the years, Ethan Hawke has always been an underrated actor. However, in Sinister he totally carries the horror and psychological disturbances of Ellison – a young father who’s hell-bend on completing his latest work by obsessing over it as well as the on-screen murderous films that he finds. Hawke’s performance was impressive and shines when he creates moments of obsession over the book and his desire to finish it as well as stress of finding the research and the situation he has been placed in. In addition, Ellison’s caring but at the same time frustrated wife Tracy is your typical innocent, helpless woman in a horror film. Although we don’t see a lot of screen time of supporting characters because Hawke carries almost the entire film, Juliet Rylance’s performance as Tracy is also impressive. From the time that we actually see them, the two youngsters Clare Foley and Michael Hall D’Addario are exceptional in their roles too.

Nowadays, horror films have really been about the squirms and laughs of gore as opposed to creating a frightening, suspenseful atmosphere. Although Sinister has moments of violence, it is still an original, smart and terrifying horror film that is perhaps on the same standard of terror as Saw. Furthermore, Sinister is staged in one particular location and there is a sense of entrapment for not only the characters, but for the audience too. Just by seeing the title alone, it immediately indicates what you’ll be in for and it certainly delivered that. Thus, if you like seeing original psychological horrors filled with tension and strain, this is for you.


~ by SJMJ91 on 10/01/2013.

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