September 25, 2014 Sinister (Movie Review)
Ethan Hawke has starred recently in two terrific Horror movies; The Purge 2013, and Sinister 2012. Sinister is the latest exciting Horror installation from Director Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose 2005, Deliver us from Evil 2014) who also co-wrote Sinister with Writer C. Robert Cargill (When is Tomorrow 2007, Zombie Girl the Movie 2009), and released on October 12th, 2012 in the United States.
Creepy and twisted from beginning to end, Sinister tells the story of former fiction writer Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke- Daybreakers 2009, Before Midnight 2013), who found later success in true crime stories, which bring the ire of local communities and Police Department involved in the crimes. His new book focuses on the story of a local family who are all found hung dead at the front of their home, one of their children, Stephanie, is still missing. So in depth with his research, he moves his family into the home of Sarah’s late family, much to his wife’s,Tracy (Juliet Rylance- Days and Nights 2013, The Knick 2014), disgust. It is not long before the local Police department (Fred Thompson- The Last Ride 2011, Persecuted 2014) visit to warn Ellison from showing them in a bad light.
The Deputy, (James Ransone- The Lie 2011, Electric State 2014), volunteers his assistance on the side to Ellison’s research as long as he is put in the acknowledgements of his upcoming novel. Ellison agrees and asks the Deputy to look into some previous families deaths that have similarities to the other families. When looking through the attic one day, Ellison finds a cardboard box of old films of Sarah’s family, starting by showing them in happy times, during BBQ’s and family get togethers, but end tragically showing the family hanging from a large tree. Events from this moment get stranger and stranger, and the further Ellison looks into these tragic accidents, the weirder that things around him become. More and more films start showing up and there seems to be a link between all the families that died, all had one of their children missing. His son, Trevor (Michael Hall D’Addario), starts having violent night terrors and his daughter, Ashley (Clare Foley), starts drawing sinister paintings on the walls. Ellison starts thinking that the killer might not be human. His rational mind tries to assimilate all the information thrust in front of him, yet still he cannot explain what he has been seeing and feeling. He even consults a local professor, Professor Jonas (Vincent D’Onofrio- Men In Black 1997, Law & Order Criminal Intent 2001), as he seems to reinforce the unbelievable things that are happening. It quickly becomes clear that there is much more to it all than he could have ever imagine and he will have to fight for his family’s survival.
What do you do when you are confronted by what is chasing you, and it is already too late? What if one’s fate had already been decided from weeks before they even realized it? What if, despite their best efforts, they are doomed to fail, and what is going to kill them is more terrible than their worst nightmare? This movie is incredibly smart, dark and deep. It is twisted and wicked, weaving a deeply melancholy story that keeps you guessing until the very end. It is very well-acted, and the mood and texture of the movie is very intense and mildly depressing. The end will surprise the audience and it is well worth not just watching once, but over and over again. Cryptic Rock scores Sinister 5 out of 5.