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.
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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