Typically during the month of October, Hollywood churns out your average clichéd horror films to take advantage of Halloween. There’s the usual franchises popping out another Saw or Paranormal Activity, but this year we get a real treat: an original horror film. In a clever marketing move, the studio started the #SurviveSinister hashtag on Twitter in order to create a viral campaign which promised a truly frightening experience.
Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Sinister stars Ethan Hawke as struggling true crime writer, Eillison Oswalt, who is attempting a comeback with his latest novel. Ellison moves his family into a house where the previous residents were murdered in the backyard, unbeknownst to his wife and two children. Ellison’s last successful novel, Kentucky Blood was 10 years ago, in which he helped solve a cold murder case. Two failed novels later, Ellison is struggling for a second chance at fame.
While searching for clues as to what happened to the previous family, Ellison finds a mysterious box in the attic containing Super 8 films of home movies. This leads to a gruesome discovery and sets Ellison down a dark and sinister path, putting his entire family in danger.
Sinister is smart, well-written and top-notch acting from Ethan Hawke and brilliant directing by Scott Derrickson (director of the critically acclaimed horror film The Exorcism of Emily Rose). The score is chilling and creates an atmosphere that is unsettling throughout, even when nothing is happening you feel an air of horror from the music. The director doesn’t resort to cheap loud music scares in order to frighten you; the content of the Super 8 home films is disturbing enough. Sinister is a very clever horror film, and one of the scariest films I’ve seen in recent memory. Everything works together to create a terrifying masterpiece and you will leave the theatre shaking with an ending you will never expect. If you are looking for a scare this Halloween, be sure not to miss Sinister this Halloween season. (4/5 stars)