Film Review: Sinister (Thoroughly Freaked Me Out)

Turn on the bloody light!!

sinisterI missed this one in the cinema. Family and friends said “Hell, no” to accompanying me after seeing the trailer. They’d had enough of me dragging them to horrors over the years, and there was no way I was going to this alone. Sinister ended up getting luke warm reviews, but I still wanted to see it. Since this came from the writer/director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, I should have been prepared to be properly scared.

Ellison (Ethan Hawke) is a true crime writer down on his luck. He uproots his wife and kids and moves them into a house where a family were massacred – he doesn’t tell his wife this (he’s an idiot asking for trouble). He finds a box of old films containing footage of murders of entire families – disturbing and terrifying films of the last horrific moments of people’s lives. At this point, he should have informed the police and handed the evidence over. Instead, he decides to investigate alone. Weird stuff is already happening in the house. His son has terrible night visions, there’s creepy sounds in the attic, he watches footage of himself surrounded by ghostly hands, and yet when his wife begs him to pack up their stuff and leave, he refuses. Frankly, he was asking for evil to come find him.

The cast is likeable. You care about this family and want them to get out alive. At times the music is frightening (jagged, uneven, erratic sounds) and my nerves were on edge. Sinister may not be the most original horror film, but it’s Unsettling. I was freaked out the whole time watching it and afraid to turn off the lights when I went to Β bed. And that reminds me. I wanted to scream at Ellison to turn on the bloody light. Apart from one occasion when the power is out, he really has no business roaming around his house at night in the dark.

Slow moving, creepy and with plenty of tension, Sinister is right up my alley. Throw in Ethan Hawke and I was sold. If you’re a fan of big scares and slasher type horrors, this won’t be your thing.Β  But if you’re more into subtle and psychological horror, then you’ll appreciate this. ****

Anyone seen this one? Don’t watch it by yourself!

*****************

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About Emma

Buffy fan, avid reader, writer.
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40 Responses to Film Review: Sinister (Thoroughly Freaked Me Out)

  1. ellamedler says:

    I don’t mind the books, but horror films scare the sh** out of me. Not going to watch this one. I’ll leave it to the experts. πŸ™‚

  2. Paula Cappa says:

    Psychological horror is high suspenseful; I love it. And haunted houses are my all time favorite. Maybe because a house is supposed to possess the comfort of home and safety and when that is threatened, it cuts very deep. Good review!

    • Emma says:

      I adore haunted house stories. That’s a good point, Paula. I never thought about that before.
      I’ve read that if you’re in any doubt that a house you’re buying could be haunted, bring a baby with you to the viewing. If the baby cries or reacts strongly, then get the hell out of there.

  3. beckyday6 says:

    Bleeeuuuugh looks wayyy too spooky for me! LOL. I’m glad you enjoyed it though. πŸ™‚

  4. Jen Naumann says:

    This was totally my type of movie too! I love movies that mess with your head and can’t deal with slashers. Have you seen “Dream House” yet? Not only does it have Daniel Craig, but I love the psychological part of it all…

    • Emma says:

      Jen, I haven’t seen Dream House and it’s been showing on the horror movie channel recently. Next time, I’ll sit down and see how I get on with it – thanks.

  5. Sounds freaky! I even freaked out every time I saw that face in the commercials for it. It’s definitely the kind of movie I’m drawn to but scared to death of at the same time!

    • Emma says:

      Totally freaky. Yes, every time Ethan Hawke finds that face in the background of a photo or on film, I jumped. There’s something very disturbing about him.

  6. novareylin says:

    I talked my hubby into watching this with the lights off! Which was great. I was a bit freaked out but thought the ending was lackluster. I wanted a bit more. Although I did like how it ended πŸ˜‰ I just thought that a little bit more explanation to what was happening would have been nice. But all in all I thought it was good. I could have used a bit more scariness honestly, but my scariness bar is quite high!

    I didn’t hear they were making a sequel. Maybe that will give more answers πŸ˜€ I’ll have to check that out.

    • novareylin says:

      Ohh! I forgot to add! Why in the world would anyone in their “right” mind search the house in the dark? I kept yelling at him to turn on the lights. He was definitely asking for something bad to happen. LOL

      • Emma says:

        Creepy children always freak me out.
        I couldn’t understand why he crept around the house in the dark. He was asking for something to get him, the dumbass!

  7. Arrh ya big baby πŸ˜€

  8. Subtle and psychological horror? That’s my kind of thing. I much prefer that to slasher movies. I want to be scared, not grossed out.

  9. Oh my gosh! This one totally freaked me out. I kept wanting to turn it off but couldn’t because I wanted to know what happened more. LOL I love psychological horror.

    • Emma says:

      Good – I’m not the only one freaked out so.:)
      It took me a few hours to get through it because I kept pausing to go make a cup of tea and give myself a breather from the anxiety!
      It was fun but terrifying, Rhonda.

  10. LOVED this movie! This is how horror should be done. And I often walk through my house without the lights on (I have to balance out for my son who leaves every light in the house on. grrrrr)

    • Emma says:

      I remember you mentioning this film before.
      You brave man, you πŸ™‚ Walking through your house in the dark. I have to have the lights on if I’m up at night, and I always dart past mirrors – they freak me out.

  11. Mae Clair says:

    I love psychological horror, but this one sounds far too creepy. I think it would definitely give me nightmares! L.J.’s assessment is exactly how I look at it!

  12. Emma! You scare me with what you watch. Actually, I believe it’s how you write about it that makes me NOT want to watch it! LOL Which, in and of itself, is a fabulous review! You do know I love horrors – most any type, but I think I’m becoming quite tame in my old age. Not sure if I wan’t to watch this one. It’s a case of I do, but not really, yet I still want to. *shiver*

    • Emma says:

      I’m glad my review scares you, ha ha. I’m getting quite tame too, things that wouldn’t have bothered me even a few years ago now terrify me!
      Well if you do see it, let me know what you think, Sandra.

  13. fuonlyknew says:

    Waiting for this to come in the mail from Netflix. I love haunted house movies and loved The Exorcism of Emily Rose. It takes a lot to scare me and suspense does it good. I’ll let you know! May hear me screaming!! lol
    Happy Easter Emma:)

    • Emma says:

      Yeah, Laura. This one definitely has suspense. It’s the moments in between the horror that got me!
      Watch it with the light on.
      Happy Easter, Laura.

  14. Emma Audsley says:

    Reblogged this on The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog and commented:
    A good review for Sinister…one damn creepy film!

  15. angryscholar says:

    Hey Emma, I’m new to the blog, but it looks like you’re up to some really interesting stuff.

    I did see Sinister when it released here in the States, and while I wasn’t a big fan, I see what you liked about it.

    Looking forward to reading some more of your stuff.

    • Emma says:

      Hey, thanks for stopping by.
      Yeah I don’t think I could have handled seeing it on the big screen. This one just really freaked me out, as did The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
      A lot of people didn’t think much of Sinister, so going in, my expectations weren’t high.

      • angryscholar says:

        I didn’t realize it shared creators with Emily Rose. I love Emily Rose, but it felt totally different to me somehow. I do like Ethan Hawke, though. He should do more horror.

  16. setinmotion says:

    I am so bad with horror films even the poster of Sinister is giving me the heebie-jeebies

  17. Ooh.. I really wanted to see this.. but now I really, REALLy want to see this!! Love creepy psychological thrillers..

  18. I REALLY want to see this!!!

  19. Pingback: Film Review: Dark Skies (A Creepy Mix of Horror and Science-Fiction) | Emma's Ramblings on Supernatural Fiction

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