Sinister may disappoint horror movie fans, but may be just the thing to welcome in newbies to the genre.
Let me first say that I try to avoid horror movies, but having taken an Introduction to Film course back in university, I have grown to appreciate the genre. In some cases, horror movies are cautionary tales and/or they remind us of societal expectations.
From the start, Sinister piqued my interest. Old movie footage displays four family members struggling a foot off the ground with burlap sacks over their heads and a noose around their necks. Slowly, one of the tree’s branches begins to fall and the family start to lift together off the ground, beginning to strangle until they die.
Two questions come to mind: Who killed them? And why did they video tape the murders?
Next, you meet the Oswalt family. They’re moving into the very house the murdered family had lived in. Ellison, the patriarch of the family, is a true-crime novelist who decides to move his family here so he can work on his next novel. The day they first move in, he finds a box with a projector and six old home movies, but they are not what they seem. After a few minutes of watching some happy family memories, they become something more horrific. Someone has filmed the murders of each family. As Ellison tries to get closer to the truth, he realizes that something supernatural may have been the cause of these murders and the kidnapping of the youngest children from the six families.
Here’s the trailer:
Favourite moment: Right after an explosion of terror, Ellison and the deputy, who helps him with the murder cases, have a chat about it. The writer is absolutely terrified and hopes to confide in someone. The deputy is a bit of a ditzy fellow, but I appreciated the humour he provided to ease the tension from the previous scene.
Least favourite moment: One of the “home videos” shows someone mowing over a family. I kept thinking about it well after I left the theater. It’s my pick for the most grotesque scene in the film.
I’m a little bit on the fence with Sinister.
Sometimes, the movie felt like it moved too slowly. There weren’t many scary moments, and when there were, it was little things like animals or people suddenly appearing, something falling to the floor and making a loud sound, or floors creaking. Some people did scream in the theater, but I only ended up jumping in my seat once. Since I feel like I scare easily, this may be a sign to frequent horror movie goers that Sinister may not provide the scares they desire.
Of course, there were things I did like about the movie. It got me hooked from the very start, getting me curious about the murders and how it all happened. I’m a fan of folklore too, so learning the mythology of the Bughuul, a Babylonian god who eats children’s souls, was very interesting.
For Horror movie fans, I recommend being cautious. It may not be the scariest or the most gore-tastic film you’ve seen. For anyone who wants to try getting into the genre, I recommend trying this one out.