Once You See Him, Nothing Can Save You
Sinister is a 2012 horror film directed by Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us From Evil, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) and stars Ethan Hawke (Boyhood, Predestination), Juliet Rylance (The Knick), James Ransone (Inside Man, Oldboy) and Nicholas King. 'A true-crime writer finds a cache of 8mm home movies films that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose career dates back to the 1960s'. Will something harmful or evil will happen? Yes. But will it be truly Sinister?
Sinister is one of the scariest films I've seen for a long time. I feel like I've been deprived of truly scary films recently - It Follows, Ouija, Annabelle, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, Deliver Us From Evil (can't even finish that one) and Oculus were all disappointments for me. The only recent horror film that I have enjoyed is The Babadook. Sinister may be from 3 years ago, but it managed to still scare me. It was a little slow and took its time getting into gear but once it did, I was wishing it hadn't because it was extremely scary. The film is packed full of jump scares which some would argue are cheap and predictable - Sinister is one of them films that can pull them off effectively.
The acting from Ethan Hawke is also very brilliant - he holds the film very well and comes across as truly terrified. The child actors are also very creep to which adds to the mood. Nicholas King must go down as playing one of the scariest creatures of all time - Mr Boogie. is what nightmares are made of! However, there was one slightly underwhelming performance - Juliet Rylance. I felt that everything she was saying was forced and that she was just there for the paycheque, not to put on a good performance.
The storyline for the film is also very clever. Like the upcoming Unfriended, it is based around current (3 years ago) technology - an iPhone is one of the biggest parts of this movie. However, don't be fooled and think this is just mega product placement - the iPhone is needed and works really well in the film. Some of the scenes are also very uncomfortable and chilling to watch - which is what a horror film should be! Like all good horror films, there are some laughable and random moments in this flick where it all goes a little OTT - these are countered and covered by a generally terrifying film.
SPOILER - my biggest issue with Sinister is the ending. Yes, it was extremely effective and was a good peak for the horror but I just felt a little underwhelmed and disappointed for different reasons. Like Oculus, the main character you are routing for the whole film (Ellison - Hawke) gets killed off - I just felt that I had wasted my time routing for him to solve and beat the supernatural horror. However, the ending did make sense and set the film up well for Sinister 2 which hits cinemas this summer.
Sinister is extremely terrifying and isn't one that I advise you watch alone. With generally great acting from Hawke who plays a character you can and want to route for (unusual for horror films), the film is an all rounder. Yes, it has its over the top and laughable moments - but don't all films? Sinister is towards the top end of the modern day horror film scale.