I don’t like scary movies, and it’s not even because I’m afraid of them. Most scary movies I see are either funny to me or they just plain suck. But that’s not the case with the new movie from ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’ and ‘The Exorcism Of Emily Rose’ director Scott Derrickson called ‘Sinister’. In fact, if I had to pick one word to describe this movie, it would be “terrifying”.
‘Sinister’ follows Ethan Hawke as a once prominent true-crime writer who moves into the house where his latest novel takes place and the crazy things that start to happen to him after he finds a box of home movies in the attic that show how the previous occupants were killed. The film combines traditional cinematography with found footage to deliver an overall spooky movie going experience.
One of the first things that stands out in this film is the score. The music in this film works perfectly to make you feel at ease and then suddenly build up to a scary moment that doesn’t happen right when you expect it to happen but it actually happen a second later to catch you off guard. I even found myself closing my eyes at some points to try to anticipate some scares. Christopher Young did a superb job with creating original music to really make the pace of the story suspenseful.
Accented by the music, the story written by Derrickson and first time screenwriter C. Robert Cargill was pretty well assembled. The beats in the movie were arranged in such a way the scares were very effective while still taking you through an engaging story. Not only was I clutching my armrest in fear as the tension built, but also I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happens to Ellison Oswalt and his family.
Finally, not only was ‘Sinister’ an effective horror movie, but the themes presented in the film were great too. One line in the movie was, “Don’t worry, Daddy. I’ll make you famous again.” This stemmed from the director’s own life and his fear that he wouldn’t make a good film again. How can a filmmaker, or any artist, or really anyone, take care of their family if they can’t make money doing what they do? It’s a matter of legacy and ensuring that you have the means to help it live on after you’re gone. On top of that, no one wants to be remembered for something that sucks, so we all would love to make a lasting positive impression on the world, and this was Derrickson’s response to that notion. Luckily, his film ended up being one that really worked.
Overall, I would say that ‘Sinister’ is a great horror movie. Because it managed to do what so few horror movies these days can, and that’s make me afraid of what I’m watching on screen not just gross me out with buckets of blood and gore, I give this movie four out of five stars.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch some happy sitcoms so that I don’t have nightmares about this movie again.