Thursday, October 18, 2012

To See or Not to See: Sinister

There's not a whole lot in the horror arena hitting the big screens this Halloween season, sadly.

September saw the release of:
Resident Evil: Retribution -- I didn't expect much and was still disappointed.
House at the End of the Street -- pretty underwhelming

And then we hit October with:

The upcoming:
Paranormal Activity 4
Silent Hill Revelation

And indie movies likely not to be playing in a theater near you:
Grave Encounters 2
Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes

And then there was Sinister. Now given my great disappointment with horror flicks of late, I'd hoped that Sinister would surprise me but had understandable reservations about it. Some of the producers were also behind 2010's Insidious, which was fairly good. So yes, I hoped Sinister would be great but I was prepared for it to suck.

Frankly, though, the movie didn't suck at all. Instead, it was shocking and highly unsettling.

Ethan Hawke plays Ellison Oswalt, a true crime writer who's last few books have not been well received. He has one bestseller to his name, though, and hopes that his latest project will again bring him to the top of the NYT list. What he doesn't tell his family is that this time they've not just moved to a town where a horrible crime has occurred, they've moved into the exact house where said crime happened. The previous owners were hung and their youngest daughter is still missing.

The first day in their new house, Ellison discovers a box of home videos in the attic. As he sits down to watch, he quickly realizes that the tapes are recordings of murders. Not just the most recent one that occurred in his new house, but others that took place in different houses in past decades. Ellison believes he's on the verge of a huge discovery, one that will ensure his new book will be a big hit. But as time goes by, he begins to realize that things in the house are maybe a little beyond his control.

You can check out the trailer here.

I think the folks behind this movie did everything right! The suspense is killer -- they spend plenty of time building the Oswalt family -- you know that things have not been easy since the last books, Ellison's relationship with his wife is tense, and his kids have problems of their own.

The story is interesting and unique -- their created boogeyman has a believable story behind him even though he's completely fictional.

The movie is shocking and pretty gory. There were definitely some jump out of your seats scenes and lots of uncomfortable squeamish moments. It's an intense watch, in my opinion. I left the theater feeling more than a little ruffled and that hasn't happened in quite a long time.

At this point, I can say that I've seen at least one great horror movie in 2012. Now I just wish we could have some more!


Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Oooh! I wish I had someone to go see scary movies with. Hubs is less than interested. Alas, I'll wait til this comes out in blu-ray.

Becky LeJeune said...

I go see them by myself most of the time. Hubs will see some but has no interest in most of them. I think I've burned him out on too many bad ones :)