Friday, August 12, 2016

Movie review: Sinister

Moving to a new home in a new town to write a new book, true-crime writer Ellison discovers a box of Super 8 home movies in the attic. Ellison quickly finds the movies, dating to the 1960's, document the work of a serial killer.

Ethan Hawke (Ellison), Juliet Rylance (Tracy), Fred Thompson (Sheriff), James Ransone (Deputy), Michael D'Addario (Trevor), Clare Foley (Ashley), Nicholas King (Bughuul), Vincent D'Onofrio (Prof. Jonas).

Sinister launches with some fairly shocking horror before moving to character introductions, development, and plot setup. From there the film builds intrigue well as Ellison discovers a box of home movies that implicate a long-term serial killer at work which directly relates to the story he is writing. But when he realizes the serial killer may not be human, and the problem supernatural, the story takes some nice twists and turns with plenty of BOO moments and horror. The finish is a bit weak, and there are some ridiculous moments that are almost laughable, but the horror is there as well.

Acting was good with Hawke delivering a solid performance in his lead role. Rylance was decent and fit well with Hawke. Thompson was an interesting choice and felt softer than usual, as did D'Onofrio. Ransone, D'Addario, Foley, and the remainder of the cast were enjoyable and did nicely.

Camera work was good and while the darker scenes contributed to the horror aspect, they also made parts of the film difficult. Sets and backgrounds were good with a solid, realistic feel. Dialogue was good for the most part, with only a few scenes that didn't blend well. Sound and soundtrack were good.

Sinister ends up being a fairly sinister horror flick with some good scares, an interesting plot, and solid technical work. Those who enjoy a good scare should enjoy this one.

Delivering some mild sexuality, plenty of graphic blood soaked violence, disturbing images, foul language, smoking, drinking, and terror, this should actually be fine for older teens and above.

Released: 2012
Reviewed: 8.4.16
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Supernatural Horror, Horror, Slashers and Serial Killers, Mystery, Thrillers

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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