I’m bored to shit with possession films and even more fed up with found footage movies. What the hell is it with this decade and found footage ghost stories? BUT, though Sinister has the seeds of both of these genres, it fuses both of them into one creepy ass final product. From the opening credits were introduced to the messed up imagery of a family being hung from a tree, kicking away there last breaths while we hear the old Super 8 projector rolling. I immediately dropped the F bomb. And oh this is just he beginning. Some of these later Super 8 reels are alarming as hell, but refreshingly not too gory. I ODed on pointless gore somewhere between Saw 5 an 6.
The story’s opening premise starts a little predictable. A once famous crime writer named Ettison, played by Ethan Hawke, moves into a house with his family where his latest book just so happened to have taken place- the family who got hung in the opening credits, and trying to uncover what happened to the daughter of the family. His family doesn’t know what happened in there new house but the town and family themselves don’t take very fondly to Ettison’s profession. His oldest son is teased at school for it, people glare at his wife, and the police try persuading him to pack up and leave. While in the attic, Ettison finds a box of old Super 8 reels, labeled like home movies and a small projector to play them on. Believing there is something to help with the case, he picks up the first reel titled “Hanging with the family.” and plays. At first it is a harmless family scene; then the hanging. Hes understandably alarmed. Scared even. He goes to call the police but stalls; wanting to see what else he can find, wanting the fame for solving his house’s dark past. One by one the videos get darker, more disturbing, each another happy family executed in some barbaric and elaborate scene. “Pool party” and “Lawn work” got me the worst. Because of the vintage way they are filmed, it gives these scenes a rough sort of snuff film kind of feel, as opposed to a Hollywood produced feel which makes them much creepier and believable. Ettison neglects his family throughout his obsession with these tapes and the mystery I don’t want to spoil because frankly the best way to enjoy this movie is go into it with a blank slate. Don’t watch the trailors and try to ignore the poster because the poster will spoil some things for you. I can say I expected a A to B ghost story, a Rip off of the Shining/Amityville Horror, or R-rated Insidious. Sinister is not any of these things thankfully. It’s a very subdued psychological/supernatural chiller about obsession, home movies, and the dangers of neglect. I seriously recommend catching it on net-flix or picking it up at your local Wal-mart for $5.
May the gaming gods help you if you find old home movies in your new house.