Friday, February 22, 2013

Jason versus Sinister

When so many lightweight PG-13 films have permeated the horror genre it's refreshing to come across one that tries to grab you by the balls and drag you into some dark corner. Sinister attempts to do that, and mostly succeeds.

A true-crime writer finds a cache of 8mm "snuff" films that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose career dates back to the 1960s.

Co-writer/director Scott Derrickson does a few things wrong but a whole lot right. On the downside, everything is too God damn dark in Sinister. Sometimes it's hard to tell what's going on. Would someone turn on a light already? Jesus!

That gripe aside, I like that Derrickson takes his time with this picture. Nothing happens quickly. The entire film is a slow burn as we discover what's going on along with Ethan Hawke's writer. And what's going on is pretty much, well, Sinister.

There's some great scares in this movie. I particularly liked the sequence when Hawke is stalked by some dead kids in his house. It literally gave me goosebumps. The snuff films are genuinely disturbing, as is the movie's villain, Mr. Boogie. This is a great idea for a horror movie. And it could be spun into a franchise if Derrickson and company see fit. I hope they don't, but it could.

I also appreciate the use of sound effects and atmosphere to create scares over blood and guts. This movie goes for the creep factor more so than the gross out. Nicely done.

In the end, Sinister warrants a Good. This is one I will watch again, and every horror fan's gotta see it. 
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