Saturday, February 23, 2013


Rated: R

DIRECTOR / WRITER: Scott Derrickson

STARRING: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Michael Hall D'Addario, Clare Foley



Ellison Oswalt, a once successful author of True-Crime novels, is desperate for one more hit. He moves his family into the home that is the investigative basis for his new book, a home where an entire family was murdered and a child remains missing. Ellison comes across a box of Super8 films in the attic that were not there before. The motherfuckin' spooky shenanigans ensue.

This flick had a solid advert that caught my attention. I usually like trailers that give you a little less of the plot, but this one did it's job. I missed a lot of films in the theaters in 2012. This is one I had planned on screening because it hit around Halloween. Some other gnarly happs went down so unfortunately, I had to wait for Blu. Anticipation. Ethan Hawke was a good indicator to me that the acting and the rest of the cast were going to be on point. All of that jazz had me looking forward to this one moreso than most other horror flicks last year. So did I snuff this bitchin' flick out or did I set myself up to be boogie'd on?..

Wow. Who the fuck? What the hell?  This film is from a major studio? Put down the cocaine because it's true. Or pick it up. I don't know?

So, I'll admit that when I'm amped to see a horror flick, I'm usually let down. I'll also preclude the factola that in the recent past a lot of American horror films severely lack creativity and quality, especially from the scanners in Hollywood. Sinister suffers no such issues. Sinister punched me right in the gulliver. The director, Derrickson, did The Exorcism of Emily Rose which was pretty boss but The Day The Earth Stood Still remake sucked a golf ball through a garden hose. Unless you're Uwe Boll though, I don't hold shit against anybody. Being in the industry, there are a lot of factors and people that contribute to the success or downfall of a flick. Sinister isn't perfect, but it pretty much nailed it.

The acting is dead on all around. Great character actors in smaller roles, some new blood turning in good performances, particularly James Ransone as the Deputy (nice nuance & multi-dimensional character work) and Juliet Rylance as Ellison's wife Tracy (great dichotomy, feeling that pull your character feels) which leaves me to Ethan Hawke. Hawke turns in a great performance and I love seeing this dude keep knocking it out of the park. Drinks on me brohime!

Derrickson does a great job directing here as well as writing. Other writers are listed on this film so cheers to y'all. Loved the camera work and look of the film as well. Sinister operates wicked deadly on all fronts. It really builds some great tension and the use of the Super8 snuff films is fucking right on crucial. Sinister knows how to do suspense, build on it and deliver. Something that separates Sinister is it's use of the medium works on both a fantastical wavelength while staying grounded in a pretty 'real' vibe. The story and thematic elements play on each other like a neon bikini on a tan blonde bangin' surfer chick. That means it's righteous, in case you are a clueless dweeb. One of the best horror films of 2012, hands down. ExoSkeleton!

*Spoiler Alert Dickweeds*
My biggest problem is showing the dead kids so much, so often and in such bright light. Really killed the vibe. Less is more. This aspect failed completely. I like that it's there, I just hate how it was done. Bring on the ambiguity, homes!

Same goes as above for Mr. Boogie, albeit less so. I dug the glimpses. I didn't dig seeing so much of him in the final act. Granted, what to show and what not to show of your juggernaut, and how often, is a wicked tough line to walk. I'm not being harsh, it's just that these two elements kept Sinister from a possible 10 / 10. So yeah hosers, I'm nitpicking. What the fuck is it you think I do here?

The Boogie Man angle pissed me off. Why? Because I'm in pre-production on my own short horror film, The Shape, about the boogie man. Totally different take. Fucking Sinister did it really well though. Challenge accepted. Alright, this isn't really a gripe. Go suck an egg.
*Spoiler Alert Over*

A Hollywood horror movie that is rated R that doesn't suck and exists for the grown ass folks and is ORIGINAL and not a remake. Did I just say that? Are there pills involved? Who fucking greenlit this? I'm sending you a mason jar of moonshine and two slaps in the fuckin' mouth because I like ya'!

This came out around Halloween. Combine that shit with what I stated above. Fucking Bizarro-World.

Cool take on the Boogs. Great story.

Acting. Thank you.

There is some disturbing shit in this flick. It's not particularly a juicy gorefest but Sinister does it's sinister bits really well. It leaves enough to the imagination and shows enough to make you cringe. I'll leave it at that so as not to ruin your experience. You're welcome dudettes and duders.

Sinister takes itself seriously, is actually rated R, doesn't pull any bullshit punches, has a cool story, has a solid cast that delivers, a seriously spooky intense vibe and is an ORIGINAL horror film aimed at adults. Wow. Sad that the last point is such a big deal. Shocked this came out of a big budget American studio. Should I get my hopes up and go as far as to thinking this is a turning point? Probably not. So yeah, look, if you like horror movies, this is one of the best of 2012. Buy that shit, rent it, whatever. Throw your money at it because we need more of this and in Hollywood, money has the loudest voice. Job well done to Derrickson, cast and crew.

No comments:

Post a Comment