Sunday, 14 October 2012


After a run of 12A horror films October finally gave us a more adult offering with Sinister.

PLOT: True crime writer Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) moves his young family into the house of the murdered family who are the subject of his latest book. After finding a box full of home movies in the attic Ellison finds that there is something much darker behind the murder than originally thought. END PLOT

As one can expect the plot of Sinister is minimalist at best and it relies on the downright unsettling home movies, most of which we had the pleasure of viewing on more than one occasion, and some cobbled together mythology to make the film appear much deeper than it really is.

The content of the home movies was very dark but thankfully they were well edited and cut away just at the right time. Simply knowing what had happened in several of the videos was enough.

The most glaringly obvious fault with the plot was the length and pace. Sinister clocks in at a mammoth 110mins which is, at the very least, twenty minutes too long. The time was padded out with endless repeats of the home movies and marital dramas which should have been left of the editing room floor.

Credible twists are hard to come by and the climax of Sinister was disappointing. The final act was dragged out far too long – horror films need to have a snappy shock ending but by the Gods, Frodo got on the boat at the end of Lord of the Rings with less faffing around.

Despite wearing a ridiculous cardigan Ethan Hawke was a fine lead although it was hard to like Ellison due to his selfish attitude. The soap opera family arc should didn’t do his character any favours either.

James Ransone deserves a mention as the local Deputy as he brought some humour to a clichéd role.

Sinister had some very dark scenes but the gore factor was surprisingly low given the high death count.

If my mobile phone bleeps beside me I will react as though I’ve just been shot – as I have said on many occasions I am a jumper in the cinema. Jumping at the screen and being scared are not the same thing and although director Scott Derickson created some decent tense moments I would say that Sinister isn't particularly scary.

Sinister is actually a fairly decent film and gets 6/10 but like most horror films, it will have nothing to offer on a second viewing apart from plot holes and annoyance.


  1. Sounds pretty similar to Insidious where the build up is better than the payoff. Overlong films really hurt themselves, it's like the filmmaker falls in love with their own movie.

  2. We were hoping for an other Insidious as it was a great film but it wasn't to be.

    You could feel the tension and good work just drain away in the third act as it rambled on!

    Up until then it is worth a look. It was much darker that I was expecting!

  3. I'll have to put this in queue. I like scary though not much scares me but toast when it pops up from the toaster LOL. Good review.

    1. I am exactly the same!

      It's weird as Sinister manages to be very dark but not scary at all

      Hope you enjoy it though!

      K :-D

  4. Interesting to see that it isn't gory, but sometimes that can be better. Good review, probably will check it on video.

    1. It has some very dark deaths but the gore factor was surprisingly low. It did cut away at clever times though to avoid it!

      It's worth a look but nowhere near Insidious which I love

  5. Comparing it to Insidious makes me somewhat hesitant. I enjoyed the first half, but the second half fell completely off the rails. This one seems to follow along a more straightforward plot.

    1. This one remains very dark but as it refuses to end it loses any tension it built up.

      I liked Insidious purely because it terrified me and then went off the rails in to ridiculousness!

  6. agree with Daniel that it's a bit similar to Insidious - though (don't hate me) I think it's even better than Insidious.