Sinister Review FrightFest 2012

Writer-director Scott Derrickson mixes found footage, haunted house and boogeyman lore in Sinister.

A writer played by Ethan Hawke moves into a new house (the scene from a murder) with his family and begins piecing together a series of related murders which have occurred over 40 years.

Piecing together the found footage showcasing the murders he soon uncovers a sinister (sic) presence which has played a part in the executions.

There are some genuinely creepy moments in Sinister. The rough grainy nature of the found footage Hawke reviews is more disturbing than the “stumble in the dark and turn the volume up loud, ooh there’s a face” scares the film serves up.

The comedy interplay between Hawke and his police officer provide welcomed moments of relief, but too often these are overplayed and detract of the mood of the piece as a whole.

Sinister is a well-observed film as it blends influences and genre conventions from across the board. But too often it’s the blend between elements that work against each other.

When the main character sites reasons for remaining in the house in an argument with his wife, it’s negated by a comedic conversation Hawke’s character has with a police officer who says he should be getting the hell out of there in no uncertain terms.

Had Sinister been a horror flick with a smaller amount of humor, it would have provided a fresh take on the well-worn haunted house sub-genre. In the end, you’re not left feeling as scared as you could have been.

posted by admin at 8:22 pm  

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