Sinister (2012)

Yes, another horror movie…

Sinister is, for its first half, a genuinely scary film populated by reasonably well-developed characters. Ethan Hawke, writing a true crime novel, finds a handful of creepy snuff films in the attic of his latest house (the site of a recent murder, naturally) and watches them, one by one, late at night. There’s a substantial amount of creepiness in the silence after each film ends, and Sinister gets a lot of mileage out of bumps in the night; the same bumps you hear after turning off a horror movie late at night.

It falls apart in the back stretch, as such films tend to. The introduction of a supernatural element collapses the carefully constructed creepy atmosphere; supernatural threats can certainly be frightening, but they pale in comparison to the idea of a serial killer stalking around one’s house at night. There’s a lot of horror movie logic in the film that I forgave while watching, expecting a (heavily foreshadowed) twist that would explain it. There is a twist (and it’s not bad) but it does nothing to explain some, in retrospect, daft actions earlier in the film.

Nonetheless, Sinister is truly scary, especially its first hour.

Rating: 128/200

2 thoughts on “Sinister (2012)

  1. Something I forgot to mention – the film has a fantastic, skittering, disconcerting score; it’s used regularly but not overused and is a big reason that the film is as frightening as it is.

  2. Pingback: Insidious (2011) | ccpopculture

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