|31 Days of Horror: Day 4|
|His other hobbies include having the audience watch him watch something on the screen|
|"Super8 tapes...this will definitely help me with the murder that happened in 2011!"|
|Mr. Boogie appears to be naked|
|He's being haunted by Slipknot?|
The acting in Sinister relies heavily on the performance of Ethan Hawke. That's not a huge surprise, since the movie is essentially watching him watch home movies. Hawke is pretty good, though; he's certainly not likable, but he did a good job showing fear slowly creep up. The rest of the family was an afterthought in the script, but it is worth noting that Juliet Rylance's character was right 100% of the time; she didn't have a juicy role, but there is something to be said for being the voice of logic and reason in a horror movie, even if it is a thankless task. The kids were just kids.
|...and just kids are just creepy|
Sinister was directed and co-written by Scott Derrickson. His work in this film marks both the movie's strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side, Derrickson did a great job building up suspense and creating a creepy haunted house vibe. However, that is only effective because of how creepy the Super8 snuff films are and some impressive sound effects. The script itself is a bit of a mess, as it seems torn between wanting to be a true crime mystery with the haunted house being a side effect of Ellison's drinking and being a straight-up supernatural horror movie.
|Similarly, is this frightening, or is she doing an impression of a handicapped person?|
|Murder victims are the next howling wolves for hipster T-shirts|
And that's really too bad. Sinister comes very, very close to being a cool movie. The home videos are disturbing. There is atmosphere and tension. The villain has a cool look to him. And then the story settles for a supernatural explanation and starts throwing in all sorts of cheap scares. You know what would have made this movie better? Not having a goddamned bogeyman as the culprit. Someone kidnapping small children, raising them to be killers, and then watching them pay it forward would have fit this movie far better than some sort of shadow demon that kills people because of arbitrary property lines (a much-abbreviated explanation, but essentially accurate). Still, just thinking about those 8mm videos creeps me out, so it's not a total loss.