“Sinister” may be just the film that horror fans have been waiting for. From the get-go, it is dark, haunting and filled with suspense. The eerie Super 8 footage that opens the film is the perfect indicator of what’s to come — a chilling story filled with twists and scares. Ethan Hawke gives a harrowing performance as the main character, Ellison, a crime novelist who has an insatiable need to write his next hit. He moves his family into a new town and an unlikely new home: the place where the subjects of his latest novel were murdered. Not long into the film, Ellison discovers a peculiar box of Super 8 tapes, which are in fact footage of numerous gruesome, unsolved murders. The tapes also introduce viewers to the masked deity involved in the murders, Bagul, who eats children’s souls to survive. As the story unravels, so too does Ellison’s sanity as he begins to get closer to revealing the truth about the tragedy that occurred in the house, as well as additional unsolved murders.
It’s not often that we see a film of this genre with a well-written script. Scott Derrickson, who previously co-wrote and directed “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” and C. Robert Cargill, an established film critic and novelist, have crafted a screenplay that combines both horror and humor without being campy, which is a rare find. “Sinister” has all the elements of a true horror movie, without the cheesy one-liners, the tacky effects and a poor storyline in general. The ending of the film is quite unexpected — and in true horror style, it definitely leaves room for a sequel.
If you go
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Clare Foley