Out of all the horror movies released in 2012, Sinister was the one I was looking forward to the most. People like to bitch and whine about trailers (BUT NOT HERE AT MAN I LOVE FILMS) but to me I normally like them. This trailer had me hooked and I couldn’t wait to see it. Even if it had Ethan Hawke in it. I mean Ethan Hawke in a horror movie? Doesn’t he normally just do movies where he’s the mopey love interest of some girl played by an offspring of a rock star? Right?
Anyway here Hawke plays Ellison Oswalt, a true crime writer. His books are controversial because he manages to find mistakes that cops normally made during a murder investigation. This causes grief everywhere he goes and his family is getting quite sick of his shit. At the start of the movie, they move to a new town where a murder occured awhile ago. The wife, Tracy, is trying to be understanding of what her husband does for a living but if his next book is a failure, she threatens to take the kids and move out or something. Jeez, lady. Writing isn’t THAT easy. Take me for instance. I’ve been trying to write this review for a WEEK now. Gah!
This time, the crime involves a family getting hung by a tree and one of the kids vanishing. The local cops aren’t happy to see Oswalt and give him a hard time. Then it’s revealed that the house The Oswalts are moving into…belong to the murdered family! AND the murders happened in the backyard! Oh snap! Oswalt goes into the attic and finds this box full of 8mm film and a projector.
Oswalt sets up the projector and watches the first film, which shows the family he’s working on just chillin’ in the backyard, having fun. Then it cuts to them getting hung by the tree. What’s creepy here is it looks like the branch that’s falling which causes the family to get hung up is moving on it’s own. Oswalt then dives into the other films and finds all of them feature the same thing: a family having some kind of together time then them getting murdered in a horrible fashion.
Oswalt tries to piece together who could be behind all these murders and does some investigating. He even manages to get some help from a local cop, who’s a fan of Oswalt’s. They both discover that the link between are the murders are the houses they lived in. Like the second family that got murdered lived in the house belonging to the first family and so on. I hope that made some kind of sense because then you can see the ending coming a mile away.
During all this film watching, Oswalt spots a pretty creepy face in some of the footage along with a symbol. He asks a local professor about it and he tells him it’s a symbol for some pagan deity named Bagul.
I guess Bagul likes to take control of children and causes unspeakable evil. What kind of evil? Well, I can’t tell you, it’s unspeakable. But since Oswalt has two kids, you TOTALLY see the ending coming.
And it’s here I’m gonna stop telling you what happens in the movie, even though you probably figured it out. The movie itself is pretty creepy all throughout and it’s a bit claustrophobic because the ENTIRE movie takes place in the house and Oswalt’s office as he watches each film and gets more and more obsessed, to the point that his relationship with his family is tested. Each time we see the footage, it gets creepier and creepier and then they show Bagul and suddenly you’re like “FUCK THIS!” and want to run around outside in a field or something.
Overall, the film is a good slow burn movie with a “yeah I expected that” ending but it’s still great and I think if you like being creeped out check it out. If you’re a gore hound, there’s SOME gore but not a whole lot. It’s more about the atmosphere and psychological aspects of the whole thing. And it somewhat deals with obsessions and how you can go too far. I liked it and would recommend it if you’re a horror fan. Despite the whole Ethan Hawke thing.