Sinister Movie Review By Critical Colby
I recently felt the need to get scared and decided that watching the newly released Sinister was the answer to this unyielding need.
The new film, directed by Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Day The Earth Stood Still 2008), was a different take on a horror film but still relied on old tricks to make viewers jump from their seats.
Also, keep in mind that all of my reviews are spoiler free.
The film revolves around the Oswalt family, with father Ellison, played by Ethan Hawke, who is a crime writer. He stumbles upon a huge story that leads him to a different town in order to do research, which is when the movie takes place. I told you I don't have spoilers.
I felt a bit scared during certain parts of the film, although it was a bit predictable. The story really made for an interesting piece considering it wasn't something that has been rehashed too often. Hawke's performance was top notch espcially considering this was his first horror film. I can really appreciate the fact that they hired child actors that ended up doing a good job with coming across as scary.
I've always taken issue with horror films that attempt to be scary by using jumping scares and what I like to call "boo" moments. This is when the film relies on things jumping towards the audience in order to scare, but in reality, it is just making their reflexes work because it is an involuntary reaction to something startling you. I find it cheap and usually poorly done in most horror films these days. The primary difference between reactionary horror films that rely on this gimmick to provide audiences with the fear they need, and a film that actually makes it happen properly is all about the mind games.
One of my favorite horror films is the first Paranormal Activity. This may not be considered a classic by any stretch of the word, but hear me out; it did rely on "boo" moments a little bit, but it was the everlasting anticipation that made the film unique in this currently saturated horror film market. That's why I think I loved it so much, I knew something was going to happen, but the time it took to happen had my mind in knots with anticipation and fear. Also, I ignore the films after the first one.
Sinister, on the other hand, was a different film with a nice balance. It had a few cheaply done "boo" moments, but honestly did a good job in having the mind game aspect of good horror film's present. The constant mix of darkness and little flashlight based explorations around the house make for an eerie anticipation that delivers with some of the scary moments being "boo" moments and others actually doing a great job in messing with a person's mind.
So, my final thoughts are if creepy children and darkness are your thing, then Sinister is the film for you and you should make the trip to see it. It's a good mix of psychological horror and jump scares with solid acting and a cool story to boot. It's a well done modern horror that is perfect for a pre- or post-halloween date.