Sinister

It’s October so today you get two entries for the price of one. Even though I don’t charge. Maybe I should, though. Even Spider-man charges, according to Anya in that one Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode.
Last night I went to see Sinister with one of my friends. The movie didn’t disappoint me, it was deeply creepy. I was up way too late last night due to the movie and reading about the dibbuk box.
The movie stars Ethan Hawke as Ellison Oswalt, a true-crime writer trying to write one more great book.

His latest book will be about a family that was found hanged whose young daughter went missing. Ellison moves his family into their old house without telling his family what happened there.
Ellison finds a box of Super 8 reels while moving in.

They all have innocent titles like “Hanging Around” or “BBQ” but all have footage of grisly murders, including the murder of the family in their house. The link between the footage is a spectral figure in the background.

And that is all I can say without giving away major spoilers. Ellison tries to solve the mystery but slowly unravels as strange things start to happen in his house.
It is a joy watching Ethan Hawke portray Ellison’s breakdown. He goes from a guy who has it pretty together to a panicked, scared mess. I saw Ethan Hawke when he was Off-Broadway in Hurlyburly and he was pretty amazing. People tend to dismiss him as some Gen-X icon but he’s a really good performer.
The movie is filmed in a mixture of standard footage and then the found footage of the murders. The creepiness is enhanced by their grainy quality and the unsettling music used while they’re playing, mostly a mixture of chanting and wailing. One thing the filmmakers did that I liked is that whenever the footage was about to get particularly grisly, they’d cut to Ellison’s face and you’d see the scene reflected on his glasses.

It makes you think how he’s watching a film of a murder and how we’re watching him watching the film, it creates different layers of reality.
This movie utilizes jump scares a lot but they’re very-well crafted and hard to predict. Honestly, I was able to predict what the twist in the movie would be about half an hour before it was revealed but it didn’t make the movie any less fun to watch. It’s well-shot, well-performed, and deeply creepy. I was so unsettled when I was walking to my train and I consider that the mark of a well-made movie.

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About scarina

I like scary movies a little too much. I thought I'd share my obsession with you.
This entry was posted in 21st century, ghosts, halloween 2012, supernatural and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Sinister

  1. Crypticpsych says:

    I loved it too. The way I think of it is that Insidious is a good movie but it doesn’t hit the balance of horror and comedy as well as it seems to think it does… it just pinballs between the two and feels uneven as a result. Sinister has the comedy, but it’s a lot more subtly woven in, such as moments in his argument with his wife or his scenes with Deputy So-and-So (I swear, the darkly comic titles of the Super 8 films may be one of my favorite things I’ve seen in a movie in a long, long time). That way, you’re still creeped out by the movie but you are also entertained… if that makes sense.

    I saw Ethan Hawke in an off-Broadway play while I was in college myself but I can’t remember the name. He really is underrated and underappreciated (Gattaca is a good example).

    I also really like Vincent D’Onofrio, so when he started popping up in his role in the trailers I was really happy.

    Oh, and this is just my opinion…but about The Dibbuk Box….yeah, I wasn’t a fan of The Possession (the movie based on the story of the Dibbuk Box) earlier this year. Found it entertaining but for all the wrong reasons and also predictable as Hell. But some like the movie, so who knows lol.

    • scarina says:

      Yeah, Insidious was good but it kind of lost me when it got to the scene w/the demon sharpening its claws. I did appreciate the picture of Billy from Saw on the chalkboard in one scene, thoguh. I loved the titles of the Super 8 movies so much, I found myself chuckling about them for about a week afterwards.
      Funnily enough, my roommate saw him in a play, Ivanhoff, a couple of days after I saw Sinister. The woman who played his wife in the movie played his mistress in the play. Apparently, she’s primarily a theater actress. I liked her performance in the movie but I think the character was underwritten. All she did was nag. If I had a husband writing books like Ellison’s, I’d be all “Can I help?”
      I never saw Gattaca! But I need to, I love dystopian sci-fi.
      I didn’t recognize Vincent D’Onofrio, I had to look him up to see which part he played. He’s aged! Or is it just me?
      I streamed an episode of Paranormal Witness that tells the story of the Dibbuk Box, that was pretty creepy. I try to be skeptical but the idea that so many bad things could happen to so many owners is disturbing. I was especially creeped out by the shop-worker who got locked in the store’s basement while all the lights were smashed out is so scary.

      • Crypticpsych says:

        True, regarding being married to someone like Ellison. I mean, her reactions almost make you wonder how they’ve been together so long since she seems so steadfastly against his methods (granted, this particular “research method” is a little more extreme, but still). I think the writer was trying to make the story pretty much solely about Ellison and her character got shunted aside as a result.
        D’Onofrio’s definitely aged a little bit, but I think they exaggerated it for the role.
        I think Gattaca’s definitely an interesting, thought-provoking movie. The science in it, of course, is a bit open to nitpicking, but it’s a decent watch.

      • scarina says:

        I’m not opposed to moving into a murder house. Once upon a time, people gave birth at home & died at home. If your house is over 50 years old then, chances are that someone’s died in it, possibly violently. I agree and it’s kind of a shame. Oh well.

  2. Fear Street says:

    I DESPERATELY want to see this one.

  3. Pingback: The Conjuring | Scarina's Scary Vault of Scariness

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