FilmReview

"Sinister" – Evil Can Be Good

Ethan Hawke in “Sinister.” Photo credit: Summit Entertainment.

Emily Grossberg ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

Most people’s first reaction after hearing about the diabolical murders of a family of four is not to move into their house after the bodies have been cleared away. Ethan Hawke, however, is not most people.

He plays self-absorbed true crime writer Ellison Oswalt, an author desperately trying to write another best-selling novel after his last hit 10 years prior. After moving from one crime town to another with his wife and two young children, Oswalt crazily decides to move into the old home of a family that was hung by a tree in their backyard. The truly scary part is he did this without telling his wife the truth. Dun dun dun!

Upon moving into the house, Oswalt discovers a box of Super 8 home movies and a projector, which he promptly sets up and begins to watch. He discovers that these films are not home movies after all, but grizzly murders of families from around the country, all with the same eerie figure lurking in the background: Mr. Boogie.

What’s truly unique about this movie is that Mr. Boogie is not the frontman. He’s not running around waving axes and trying to kill the family off one by one, but rather giving small appearances just enough to keep audiences on the edge of their seat or curling up in fear with one hand over their eyes.

But that’s what I’d expect from the producer of the Paranormal Activity franchise.

The movie does a nice job of adding music that builds and keeps the mood tense, it is not afraid to use bits of humor to keep the characters relatable and sufficiently delves into the family dynamic so that viewers really do care if the family makes it out alive.

While Sinister relies on the typical scary movie setting (new house, creepy attic), and an overuse of darkness, (why Hawke never turns on the lights when suspecting there’s an intruder in his house is beyond me), it manages to throw in some truly evil plot twists that separate this movie from being just another cookie-cutter horror flick.

Should you go see this movie? If you’re looking for a good thrill, I’d say go for it. It’s sure to get your blood pumping for a least an hour and fifty minutes.

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