Sinister is a Chilling, Edge-of-Your-Seat Experience (31 Days of Horror Part 19)

Sommerleigh Pollonais – Horror Head Writer

DAY 19

Movie: Sinister (2012)

Plot: Washed-up true crime writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of super 8 home movies in his new home that suggest the murder that he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s.

Review: 2012 was actually a good year for fans of the genre, we had sci-fi horror (Prometheus) solid remakes (Maniac) awesome indie fare (Chernobyl Diaries/The Pact) and even something for the kiddies (Frankenweenie/Hotel Transylvania). There were a lot of good ones to choose from, but it came down to which one scared audiences the most. And that title goes to one film and one film only, Sinister.

Hey hon I just…what the hell? What the hell are you watching?!

Now it’s not that there haven’t been movies with a similar premise to this one before. The Amityville Horror basically gave birth to the “possessed house” motif way back in 1979. Notice I said “possessed” and not “haunted”. That’s because these houses tend to infect the families that live there, rather than just move some furniture around or try to have your toy clown strangle you to death. But what director Scott Derrickson did with Sinister is make the whole trope feel new again. Not to mention, genuinely terrifying.

Ethan Hawke does a fantastic job as our lead character. He’s a writer who has only ever had one hit novel, and he’s desperate to show he’s not a one-trick pony. This desperation leads to not just his destruction, but that of his entire family. The movie also introduces us to a new big bad, in the form of Bughuul aka Mr. Boogie. Yes it’s a ridiculous name, but the way he’s shot, the clever choice to keep him hidden in shadows or the background (or the bottom of a pool), ramps up the tension nicely. Add to that, the “family videos” of his past murders and how he goes about them is insanely chilling, and honestly not something we’ve ever really seen done before.

Daddy, I can’t sleep. Can I have a glass of water?

There’s also a lack of jump scares and a great use of silence in this film. And that makes the moments when something does happen hit home even harder. The end product is an edge-of-your-seat story that instantly solidifies Sinister as one of the best modern horror movies ever made, and one that is truly deserving of its name.

Sommer’s Score: 7.5 out of 10

For part 18 of 31 Days of Horror and my review of The Cabin in The Woods you can click hereAnd for more than 100 horror movie reviews and lists you can check out the RMR horror section here.

2755F829-2EEC-4A68-B6F7-F963F48C9D92 Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.

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