Sinister Movie Review

Another midnight showing. Another midnight showing audience who makes me hate midnight showings. (The talkative ones always chatter right behind me. I’m convinced it’s a conspiracy)

It’s almost three and I’m tired so I’m bullet pointing this one.

Sinister was… not so sinister. As you can see from the wonderfully creepy drippy poster art, the movie was marketed as like totally wicked. And like totally wasn’t.

Which isn’t to say it was a terrible movie. If you want to see a terrible movie go see the Apparition. But Sinister failed to impress.

If you happen to show up late to the movie but managed to watch the trailer beforehand, you’ll be good to waltz in whenever you like so long as you see the last ten minutes.

They must have filmed the final scene after putting together the trailer, in order to have the director of Insidious step in as guest director.

The creeps do get under your skin. I was watching for Mr. Boogie in the bushes my whole way home.

Two jump scares were awesome, a few more were so-so, and the other ten were given away in that goddamn trailer. As if comedy movies weren’t enough.

Also, putting a man in a mask and hiding him in a bush CAN’T be any harder than doing a terrible photoshop job to put him in the video still.

I’m a sucker for deeply thematic horror stories, and like any horror film these days, there was so much lost potential here. (See; combining and playing with the idea of writing as leaving a legacy, the idea of children leaving a legacy, the idea of the missing children leaving a legacy, the idea of people trying to forget a legacy, the idea of Buguul living within images, the idea of images having a life of their own, how the author can truly be immortalized, how his family can as well, but at what price, how this would apply to the audience watching these images too). Without any extra exploration, all that stuff feels a bit gimmicky to me. But that’s not a requirement for a good flick, so…

Though the premise held promise, the writing was weak and rushed. For a movie that leaned heavily on atmosphere (and did so well, much of the time), the urgency of the characters and the spirits is never really addressed, and just feels like storytelling without patience.

The drama of the writer-who-wants-to-leave-a-legacy-and-is-oh-so-married-to-his-love-of-writing-gory-true-crime-at-the-expense-of-his-family (BUT IT’S ALL FOR THEM, DRAMATIC IRONY, SEE?) is relatively well conceived and shouted (sorry, acted) out, even if overall it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

(The stereotypes went a long way too. I’m writing a book. BRING OUT THE WHISKERS.)

The movie was choppy and never settled on a style, and the film’s strange dream-sequence children scene seemed oddly out of place and decidedly un-scary.

The strength of the movie was indeed in the moments when we were left with Hawke and the 8mm projector, where the whirring and the tinkle of the ice in his glass and the sound of him swallowing were as jarring as the really wonderfully creepy style of the found footage. Between this (the heart of the movie) and the abundance of good jump scares and echoes of atmosphere, it’s a fun flick and doesn’t fail. But when the projector was off, the rest of the movie just couldn’t hold together for me. And I was left only feeling the void of its potential.

That said, go check it out if you want a good seasonal fright.

C+

Disagree? Agree? Sound of in the comments below.

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2 thoughts on “Sinister Movie Review

  1. Kayla says:

    The part I agree with you most on is the lost potential regarding Buguuhl living in images. I didn’t feel cheated by any means – I liked the scares and I thought the tone was solid. But I disagree that bringing out the whiskers could ever be a negative thing 😉

  2. […] points seemed to work well for last week’s Sinister Review (the review wasn’t sinister, that was the name of the movie) so I’ll be doing that […]

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