Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sinister (2012)

Sinister (USA, 2012) - Color, Director(s): Scott Derrickson
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 15]
Approx. 110 min.

Z-rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars for an enjoyable story

Cheese Factor: 1 out of 5 stars

There is a lot of talk comparing this movie to Insidious. I'm not sure why but I guess I can see some of the similarities. Either way, I found it to be a very interesting story about a fictional deity that lives in pictures and consumes the soul of children.

A true crime novelist, played by Ethan Hawke (Taking Lives, Training Day), moves into a new town with his family and into the house where a family of four were hung in the backyard. Unbeknownst to his wife and children, he's researching the murders that took place in this house and happens upon a box of Super 8 films that document each of the murders up in the attic. The local law enforcement generally doesn't seem too pleased to have him in town so rather than get the police to help, he watches the films by himself at night and finds clues to link the murders. His son suffers from night terrors and has been known to walk around in the middle of the night. He starts hearing noises in the middle of the night but decides to keep watching the films. One of the deputies in town is actually a fan of his and asks him for an autograph. The deputy also asks to assist him in his research of the murders and helps gather information. Weird things start happening in the middle of the night, like the projector starting up on its own in his office, but he just keeps watching the movies. Slowly he's beginning to crack at the edges and is a nervous wreck because he thinks that the mysterious figure he sees in all the movies is stalking him in his own house.

The weird demon thing wasn't as big a part of the movie as you would think. The presence of this creature can be felt but it really only appears in a couple critical scenes. This one almost plays out like a crime drama with a horror side story. I thought the story was good, but there are so many things that could've been expanded on and other things that could've been shortened. The movie is nearly 2 hours long but you don't get a sense that they used their time wisely. There are characters that I think should've been utilized more, such as the University Professor that was an expert in the occult. I felt like he was the biggest source of information for the viewer but we only see him for short periods of time and he only shows up twice in the film!!

Nudity: None

Gore: A lot of the violence is implied or the main character looks away to avoid seeing the violence from the film. I think the R rating is for language rather than violence.

Awesome: Not bad. I like that the movie had a sense of humor, some of the conversations were so stupid that you couldn't help but laugh. The crime drama aspect of the film was so interesting that I almost want it to just be in a different genre altogether. (Taking Lives was really good!) I was a little disappointed to find out that the deity is completely fictional and made up for the script of this movie. I would've appreciated being able to come home and do my own research on this deity, making it more real for me. That would've been more fun anyway, still, an interesting movie overall. I think if I were to compare it to Insidious though, Insidious was creepier and did a better job of setting the mood. Also like Insidious, this film tries to addresses moving out of the house that's haunted. Well, you'll see how that plays out.