[Sinister]
Synopsis:A true-crime writer finds a cache of 8mm "snuff" films that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose career dates back to the 1960s.

Cast:Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone, Fred Dalton Thompson, Clare Foley, Michael Hall D'Addario.

My Thoughts:KIDS...don't smear blood on the walls mmkay?

Review:From the folks who brought us "Insidious", comes "Sinister". What do the two films have in common? Nothing really. Beyond otherwordly beasties making more trouble for us regular, flesh n' blood folk. Those evil supernatural entities. They never take a holiday. Of course though when you consider the track record of these guys films. For example, James Wan and Jason Blum brought us "Insidious" last year. Jason brings us "Sinister" this year. And Wan of course a few years ago, brought us "Dead Silence".

Seems that in these guys films, the ghosts or what have you...always get the last..."scream". Persay. Do they this time? Well...OF COURSE I'M NOT GONNA TELL YOU! DUH! So, our story in "Sinister" begins with true crime writer Ellison Oswalt (Hawke), who has moved his family to a small town in order to try and find the inspiration for his next "masterpiece". But pay attention to the signs horror fans. He's moved his family to a SMALL TOWN. And his name is Ellison Oswalt!

A very distinguished surname, and he's moving to a location that has spelled doom for many a horror film character! What are his chances of surviving this movie you think? Right now? It ain't lookin' good kids. Upon his arrival, he gets shit from the local sheriff played by Fred Thompson. The sheriff isn't really a fan of Ellison's works. Claiming that he doesn't give cops "a break" in his writings. Although personally, I think traffic tickets are far more responsible for people hating cops than any "mystery novel".

Ahem...so...Ellison however does find some friendly faces in some of the local cops who ARE fans of his works. And of course, are star struck. However...Ellison has failed to tell his family one key piece of information about the house they're moving into. Which is...IT'S A MURDER HOUSE! GASP! And so this is when "Sinister" (2012), starts to resemble "Dream House" (2011). But that's where the comparison's stop. And thank god because boy did "Dream House" suck!

Anyways, this murder house business ain't good. It ain't good at all. An entire family was hanged to their deaths, and some missing kids from that incident, and a few past killings. Have local cops baffled. But is it the house, that's responsible...or is there something more, hmmmm..."SINISTER", at work here? First off about this movie and what makes it work is Ethan Hawke. He's a good actor. Sure, I didn't like him all that much in "Daybreakers" but that wasn't his fault.
That movie was just boring. And Ethan didn't write it so you know how that goes..."shrugs". Anyhow, Ethan manages to carry this movie really well. And let me tell ya, it's nice to see a horror movie about evil supernatural hijinx, being cast-led by a male. Instead of some random hot actress who can't act, emote, or make me care why Mr. Boogie is gonna kill her. Or how. By the way, Mr. Boogie is a reference from the film, to the secret name of the "mysterious person" that apparently has his fingerprints all over these murders. With that being said, Hawke manages to play nice family man and "scared-out-of-his-wits" novelist pretty damn well. Both emotions by the way go with what time of day it is.

As Ellison finds a strange, creepy film reel from decades ago. And begins to investigate it. As he does, it seems that watching the film brings out some sort of darkness. A darkness that slowly begins to make itself more and more known to Ellison with each passing night. But the title of the movie really labels the "villain" of the movie well. The villain harasses Ellison in a way where he's freaked out to walk around his hosue late at night without a flashlight.

But at the same time, Ellison can never catch a full glimpse or get a real grip around what's happening. Thus the villain stays ahead of him, and actually there's "much more" SINISTER doings afoot with our big baddie. Stuff that Ellison isn't even aware of. This isn't a blood and gore movie. But it is a strange, odd, and dark one. This movie can be compared to a grimm fairytale of sorts. Although some of the scares miss their mark because they're either too short in length, or take too long to unfold overall. Most of what this film does works because it manages to draw you into the mystery of what connection this "snuff film" of sorts, has with the murders.

And where does the house fit into the scheme of things. Or does it fit in at all? As Ellison delves deeper and deeper into things, his wife Tracy (Rylance), becomes more and more concerned about the children. And the effect his work is having on them. She blames him for leaving his book pages out where they can read the gruesome details. He believes the recent move has just got the kids a bit skiddish. Boy...if BOTH OF THEM only knew though. What's REALLY going on.

One of "Sinister"s biggest faults though. Is it doesn't give enough background on the "villain". And what background it does give, is pretty much given in too cliche of terms. I mean any horror film where "video chat" makes an appearance, I mean...come on man. Still, even with the few video chats that Ethan's character has with a local professor. Who he gets hipped to by one of his "police officer fanboys"...Ellison begins to suspect that the murders are less human related, and possibly more supernatural related.

But even as the film takes its twists and turns. It doesn't ever lose track of what it is. Which is a "freak out" film. It never attempts to get bloody or crazy or slasher film-like. Even when the opportunity presents itself. It stays the course. And I respect that. Which is why I thought this movie was pretty damn good! The films third act then gives the audience what it came to see. The big reveal, end all be all to everything that's been happening. The ending is creepy, disturbing, and twisted.

But a bit too rushed and strung together cheaply. It seemed like they wanted to keep this film at a certain running time. So they threw on an ending that really should've been longer and more drawn out. In the end, I was happy with the ending. But I just felt it could've carried more impact had the writers given it an extra 10 minutes or so to build up.

In the end though, Hawke's performance is enough to get this film from start to finish nicely. "Sinister" isn't super-scary. But it is super-creepy and super-disturbing. The scares don't all come at once. And you have to wait awhile for things to get going. But in the end, it's pretty worthy of a worthwhile mainstream "terror flick."

THE GOOD:Hawke gives a good performance as Ellison. The films villain is a creepy dude. Just needed more backstory on him though. The ending really leaves an impression on you. It's pretty twisted.

THE BAD:The film takes longer to get going than I would've liked. The supporting cast isn't very strong. The ending was way too rushed, and the villain needed more explanation of his origins and overall purpose.

OVERALL:Three stars out of four.





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