"Don't worry, Daddy. I'll make you famous again."
I saw this with a friend at a movie marathon going on at our local theatre. In total there were five films: two comedies (Here Comes the Boom and Pitch Perfect) and three horrors. Sinister was the last film of the night and I watched it with cautious optimism because the two other horror films that played before were Paranormal Activity 4 and House at the End of the Street, so I was beginning to think that this film would be a huge let-down along with those two. However, after watching it, I can honestly say that this is the first horror film in a long time that actually scared me.
Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke), a true-crime writer, learns about a family that was recently murdered and the daughter of the said family mystreiously vanished. Believing that this could be his one shot of regaining his status as a famous author, he moves his wife, son and daughter into the house and begins to investigate. While doing so, he comes across a box of mysterious film reels and a projector and decides to watch them, believing to be innocent family films (titles consist of "BBQ '79", "Pool Party '66", "Hanging Out '11", etc.). However, these reels are not what they seem, as they are footages of various families being murdered. As time passes and Ellison's investigation intensifies, he discovers a mysterious being within these films and, after learning of who this being is, realizes that he may have put his family in mortal danger.
Yes there were plenty jumpscares (and yes, some of them were kind of pointless), but that's not what made this movie terrifying. It was the story, and it's rare that I say this about a horror movie, but the story and set-up for this film was well-done. The demon's build-up was great, the stories of the past murders were great and Ellison's internal conflict of which is more important (his fame or his family) is also great.
Speaking of Ellison, Ethan Hawke's performance in this movie was amazing. You can tell he got into the role because you really believe he was scared during the intense and horrifying moments in the film. The other actors and actresses in the movie did a good job, too, but it was Hawke's performance that stole the show.
The music in the movie added to the creepy atmosphere and the terrifying scenes. Christopher Young really did a good job capturing the feel of the film with music and it shows. Even if you don't find the movie itself to be scary, I think we can all agree that the score was well-done and made the film all the more scarier.
Let's face it: Hollywood is slowly starting to run out of ideas for horror films. There's no denying that, but after seeng this movie, it gives me a small amount of hope that there might still be some original material to be used in not just the horror genre, but also thrillers, suspense films, etc. If you want a movie that's terrifying, interesting, mysterious and keeps you on the edge of your seat, Sinister is the film for you! I dare you to watch it at night. Alone. In the dark. Go ahead, try it.