Sinister (2012)

Posted: January 27, 2013 in Movies


If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a huge fan of the horror movie genre. The good part of being such a sucker for a scare is that some of the most interesting films in the history of cinema have come from the horror arena. The bad part? For every masterpiece made, there are several dozen abortions that insult your fear with cheesy effects, overplayed stories, and laughable acting. While blood and gore used to rule the day, the modern horror fan is usually looking for something a bit more stimulating. Today’s filmmakers have seemed to shift away from the slice and splatter and instead are focusing on sticking the knife into your brain and twisting it a bit.

For me, being pinned back in your seat with terror is much more fun that being scared off the edge of it with a cheap shock.  When a movie makes you sleep with the lights on, gives you vivid nightmares, and makes you think about it days and weeks after watching it, it has successfully done its job, and that’s exactly what you get with Sinister.

Writer and Director Scott Derrickson (Hellraiser: Inferno, The Messengers) gives us the tale of  Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke), a true-crime novelist on the downswing trying desperately to find inspiration for a new book to revive both his career and reputation. He moves his family into a new home  where – unbeknownst to them – a family had been murdered. Oswalt hopes that through research of the case facts, he can help solve the crime, as well as gather material for his writing. Shortly after moving in, he discovers a box of Super 8 movies in the attic. The labels on the films are simple enough – “Family BBQ,” “Pool Party,” etc. – but Oswalt soon discovers that each of these home movies shows yet another family being murdered. Through further investigation into each of these incidents, he discovers that in every instance, a child from each family remains missing. After consulting with the non-cooperative police and a local professor (Voncent D’Onofrio), Oswalt becomes convinced that something far more evil is responsible.


He digs deeper and deeper into each case,  leaving his sanity and family’s safety behind a little bit at a time. The “creepy” factor runs high, and the forces of evil at work here will have you hiding under your blanket before the film is even half over. You won’t scream out loud much while watching Sinister (although there are a few jolting moments), but you will feel your skin crawling. The tension comes in the subtleties of darkness, perfectly-timed suspense, and a certain reality to it all that keeps you watching even when you want to look away.

Derrickson crafted – through great acting by Hawke and excellent storytelling – perhaps the best horror flick of 2012, and one any fan of these types of movies will long remember.  When it’s all said and done, Sinister has not only restored my faith in modern horror cinema, but has upped the ante for writers and directors moving forward.


Rated R, 110 minutes

Available on DVD and BluRay February 13th.

Buy at Amazon: Here

  1. Holly Wiley says:

    If you like horror, you’ll like this. It was nothing less than a great movie with not only twists to it but also a great storyline and just a goodl movie over-all. I particularly like that it wasn’t filled with gore as I’m not a big fan of that myself. To each their own, of course. I do like that it has scenes that make you jump and has a family appeal with a hint of selfishnesh as the dad reclaims what truly is most meaningful in his own life. I’ll be buying this and will watch it again.

  2. Steve Kuhns says:

    That looks creepy as fuck. I can’t believe I missed it last year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s