133 of 146 people found the following review helpful
'Sinister' delivers the chills,
This review is from: Sinister (DVD)
Director Scott Derrickson's latest entry into the horror genre, the aptly titled `Sinister', is an instant classic.
Egomaniacal true-crime novelist, Ellison Oswalt, moves his wife and two kids into the house where an unsettling murder involving a family of five has recently taken place. He plans to write about the incident and the missing child, who was apparently spared and kidnapped by the killer, hoping that he can solve the mystery without the help of the local authorities.
As he stores boxes in the attic, he finds several reels of Super 8 film and a projector. Each film contains increasingly graphic and macabre footage of a family being murdered. Upon further inspection, Ellison discovers that a pale, hollow-eyed figure can be seen lurking in the background in each one of the home movies. A pattern begins to emerge, as Ellison becomes consumed with the dark secrets that lie within the films. Further investigation confirms that there are demonic forces at work, and that Ellison may have opened a gateway that has placed his family in danger.
`Sinister' takes familiar themes and situations and spins them in entirely different directions, making the film unpredictable and highly unnerving as a result. The film score by Christopher Young is almost a character in and of itself. It accentuates the disturbing nature of the film, cranking the scares all the way up to eleven. Ethan Hawke delivers an extraordinarily nuanced performance, and this ranks among some of his best work. The rest of the cast is just as good, under the direction of Scott Derrickson, who pulls absolutely no punches for the entirety of the film. Where most directors would turn away from such material, Derrickson dives right in, creating a cinematic experience that will live forever in your memory.
`Sinister' is utterly disturbing and the best horror film that I have seen all year. Not for the squeamish, that's for damn sure.
Rated R for terror and violence. 110 minutes. Directed by Scott Derrickson. Released by Summit Entertainment.
Tracked by 4 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 30, 2013 5:07:05 PM PST
Victoria Weber says:
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 7:04:22 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2013 7:04:43 PM PST
Posted on Feb 26, 2013 11:17:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 26, 2013 11:21:49 AM PST
I just watched this the other night with my girlfriend. It's one of those movies that's better if you go in without any expectations or having seen any trailer footage (like most horrors). I enjoyed it for what it was, and the musical score was definitely one of the highlights. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was an instant classic. It was a good movie and it kept a good pace, but it didn't impress me as much as I wish that it would have. It's a movie that I would recommend someone sees once if they enjoy horror films, but I wouldn't recommend purchasing it.
BTW, I feel like you did a good job summarizing this film. I did enjoy it and felt like it was above my expectations for modern day horror movies. However, I feel like the director was too transparent about what was happening - you were guided with a heavy hand toward some conclusions. There are a lot of hints dropped during the film and if you are looking for it you can basically figure everything out within 10 minutes. There is just one twist that you would have no way of seeing/knowing until it is announced. What saved this film for me was the end. I was pleasantly surprised by this part of the film.
Posted on Apr 26, 2013 9:23:41 PM PDT
Amazon Customer says:
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2013 9:22:14 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 29, 2013 10:17:13 AM PDT
After reading your comment I definitely agree. However, I went through the first few pages of Steven's reviews and they're all very similar to this one. He puts a lot of information into them that your casual reviewer would ignore and he is generally very thorough. I would normally take this to mean that he gets paid to write these reviews, except (unless competition is paying him to slam products) he is just as thorough in explaining why a film/album had promise but ultimately fell through on expectations. I may not have invested enough time in looking through the reviews, but it seems like Steven Primarily reviews media (movies and music), and takes a very well rounded approach to doing so.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2013 9:57:59 AM PDT
Steven Adam Renkovish says:
Thank your for the kind words. I'm definitely writing for free on Amazon. I haven't seen the first penny for my work! I'm an editor and columnist for CultureMass (www.culturemass.com) so you can see most of my work there as well.
Posted on Nov 29, 2013 6:09:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2013 6:12:30 PM PST
James Thomas Jeans says:
While I agree with a lot of what you've said in your review -- I love this movie to bits -- the one thing I feel the need to point out is how little of Christopher Young's score actually ended up in the finished film. I agree wholeheartedly that the music in the film is a character unto itself, but most of what really stands out (specifically the music used during the snuff film segments and during a number of scenes in the third act) wasn't written by Young. A little over a third of his score has been replaced with music by artists known for writing music that lives WAY outside the box.
Judgehydrogen, Ulver, Aghast, Sunn O))) & Boris, Boards of Canada and Accurst deserve just as much credit as Young -- if not more -- for making the soundscape of this film so very memorable. If you listen to Young's abandoned cues on his soundtrack album, it's made obvious just how powerful these tracks really are. His score just doesn't have the same raw energy.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013 8:56:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2013 9:08:35 PM PST
I've given this movie a second chance and even a third chance. It's got moments that make it feel grim and foreboding, but some of it comes off feeling almost hokey, like the lawn mower scene. That was just dumb. On it's highest raising adjustments all that would happen is the mower would bump against the heads sticking out of the ground. If the killer were able to jack it up high enough to go over the heads it wouldn't make any difference because it would stall as soon as it hit the first head. This scene ruined the movie for me because clearly this idea for a murder was not well thought out at all. Writers have to remember audiences are far more clever than they often get credit for. Also the demonic being that keeps showing up looks too much like a Norwegian black metal singer. Not original at all. And this hokey moment at the end when his face pops in the field of the last few frames before the credits rolled was really predictable and very silly. Compare that to James Wan's latest masterpiece 'The Conjuring', when at the end a music box mirror that earlier showed the reflections of ghosts or demonic beings is shown right up to the credits. You're expecting something will appear in the mirror, but nothing ever does and the credits roll. In my assessment that was Wan's way of saying "No I'm not going to ruin it with some cheesy jump scare you're expecting right before the credits roll here. Na it's been done before and it usually doesn't work well anyway. So I'm going to just let nothing happen and that leaves the individual to ponder why. Maybe ponder the film as a whole." Talk about Scary movies? The Conjuring is masterfully directed, edited. acted , often very scary, atmospheric and a beautifully shot horror masterpiece. And it's one of the scariest movies I've seen in ages. Had Wan directed Sinister it would have turned out a horror classic perhaps instead of a typical horror film that simply isn't as good as all the hype suggests
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013 9:06:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2013 9:09:50 PM PST
speaking of the music. One of those tracks was used 5 years ago in a movie about the Norwegian black metal movement called 'Until the light finds us'. I'm sure Sinister's director knew this already and felt it was an underground movie with a small audience and most people wouldn't know it was used before as a soundtrack piece for another movie already. Same thing bothered me a bit when Ridley Scott used Bobby Womak's 'Across 110th Street' in American Gangster. This was the third major motion picture the song played a central roll in. First in the original blacksploitation film of the same name as the theme, then as the theme of Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, then Scott used it yet again as a theme for moments of his film. It was the only thing about American gangster that turned me off.
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