A horror film that saves on the gore and delivers in actual scares.
I hate horror films. Probably not the best way to start off a review, but it’s true, I can’t stand them cause I am such a “pussy ass bitch” as my girlfriend would say…regularly. I am more a fan of the slasher films that have a side of comedy to them, stuff like Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street and the Halloween films. But the type of gorey films like a SAW or a Hostel that have become the norm in this last decade are far ….far from something that I would ever consider “good.”
But there are always exceptions to the rule. The Descent was a film that came out a couple of years ago that really blew me away by not just being scary, but smart and having characters with actual dimensions to them. Cabin in the Woods, a film I reviewed very early on was another that I really enjoyed that took a chance in bending the rules of a “horror” film. But I must admit that I can add Sinister to this exceptions list as well, a film that delivers both scares psychologically and visually.
What Sinister delivers is engaging characters with a back-story more than …”It’s Halloween night and they moved into a house built over a ancient cemetery.” Ethan Hawke plays a father of two and a lacking husband, who seems to already become distant from his family buy the time the viewer gets to meet him. He is nothing but self-centered and egotistical, if it isn’t horrendous crime scene footage that he watches alone…its his OWN interviews from ten years ago. No matter how much he says he is looking to provide for his family, Hawke’s character is clear cut centered on himself and regaining his 15 minutes of fame.
He cares so little for the safety for his family, that he even moves them to THE house where a family was murdered, one of the many central stories for his latest tell all true crime books. What a shitty father/husband.
The spookiness starts when he finds a box full of snuff films in his attic, not only detailing the murder of the crime he is following, but several other family murders from the previous few decades. The writer in him keeps his info to himself and never informs the police as he tries to crack the case…as only a starving artist could think he could. But suddenly things stop looking like standard by the book murders and take a turn toward the supernatural, especially by the inclusion of the silent but deadly…Mr. Boogie. The name is maybe laughable, but that’s the only thing funny about this newly and uniquely created horror character that doesn’t speak one word, but can send the hairs on your arm to stand up and a cold streak down your spine when he simply turns to look at you or sneaks his mask covered face into the frame.
To discuss the film anymore is to give away some good details about the film you should discover on your own and have the treat of being scared. The film doesn’t over do it with gore, but there are some lovely killing scenes shot in Super 8 that really help push this film past something as over the top like a Saw film. Give it a go and have a good scare.
I give it a SEVEN out of a TEN, on the scale of film merit and overall quality.
But I also give it a MR. BOOGIE-OOGY-OOGY-OOH out of TEN, on the scale of how creepy all of his scenes are in this film.