Sinister opened on September 12th and while it was good for a few quick scares, it was overall disappointing.
I’ve been really looking for a good scare lately. First I went to see House at the End of the Street, not knowing that it was actually a thriller. So that was a fail. Then I rented two movies, both of which also failed. However, after seeing the trailer for Sinister on my television screen and being so scared that I would have to actually change the channel, I thought I had FINALLY found the scare I had been looking for. I wasn’t completely wrong. Take a look at the trailer:
The movie follows a crime novelist named Ellison (Ethan Hawke) who moves his family to the actual murder house that is the subject of his newest book. When moving in, Ellison comes across a box marked ‘home videos’ in the attic, even though the police took a picture of the attic completely empty before he moves in. Curious, and hoping to stumble upon something to help his book, he watches each of the five home videos. Hidden in each of the four videos is a scary deity, and once you see him, you’re doomed.
I have to say, while the movie was good and I definitely jumped several times, it wasn’t really scary. Like, it wasn’t the kind of scary that follows you home and sneaks up on you at night, and that was the kind of scary I was looking for. It definitely had a lot of potential, the movie says that anyone that sees this deity in pictures or on film has him follow you home and blah blah blah. So, in theory, since we all saw this deity in film at the theaters, it should have given that same kind of weird feeling that we could be next. One of those feelings when you’re home alone at night and thinking about it. Kind of like when I rented The Ring on dvd and there was this thing you could click on that had you watch the video that was supposed to make the well girl come through your TV screen, and I watched it and then my phone rang and I was scared for a whole week. Yeah… didn’t get that from Sinister.
It’s from the same producer as Paranormal Activity and Insidious, and it had a very Paranormal Activity feel throughout the whole movie. Not in the sense that it was amateur cameras or anything, but in the way the story played out. Most of the movie was filled with us watching over and over the home videos that Ellison found. All of which show footage of various families doing family activities, and then end with a very grisly, usually gory, multi-murder. I can’t even tell you home many times we had to watch a family of four get hung from a tree in the backyard. The movie started with it, and it pretty much showed up 12 other times. It started to become way overdone. The ending was super predictable. The whole movie they hint at it happening, and you spend an hour and forty minutes waiting for there to be some sort of conflict or climax, and then BAM the last 9 minutes it finally gets interesting. They also totally set it up for a sequel, so there’s that. There was also this really annoying/ridiculous scene in the movie where the missing children from each of the families were chasing Ellison around his house. It was so Scooby Doo that I couldn’t even handle it. He would go to turn around and they would hide in a different room. There was also a scene where Ellison and his wife were arguing and it was so redundant.
Overall the movie was decent. I thought the writing was good, though there were some scenes that needed to be cut. There were a few laughs, some quick scares, and a decent plot. I wish they wouldn’t gotten some action going a bit sooner, though. I would have probably preferred renting it as opposed to spending the money to see it in theaters. This is not going to be one of those movies that sticks with you, and it’s not going to go down in history or anything like that.