Although it’s tempting to start this review with a bunch of nasty quips riffing off of the film’s title (such as, “they could deliver us from evil, but not mediocrity”), it seems beneficial to try to resist. Not that the film doesn’t deserve all the slander it can get, but if we’re just playing the name calling game, then we’ll never get a chance to…
Browsing: Scott Derrickson
When concerning yourself with a ghost movie, one should always wonder which next hot object is ripe for haunting. We’ve seen many frightful poltergeist activities emanate from classic traditional haunted houses, but evil spirits seem to have gradually moved to more obscure mediums such as the haunted book, haunted video tape, the haunted cell phone, or my personal favourite, the haunted lamp (see Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes). As technology grows, so does the possibility for spiritual invasion, and with that, the possibility for truly silly and preposterous scary ghost movies. Luckily, despite the haunting traveling to many different platforms, Sinister keeps its scares grounded and atmospheric. It takes ideas that might seem ridiculous, but packages them in such a way that you can’t help but get pulled in, or rather, dragged in by your heels kicking and screaming… and you will be screaming.
The one question few found footage movies ever consider, let alone answer, is just who did the finding. Why have these terrible images found their way to a cinema screen rather than into the hands of the relevant authorities; why are they being marketed for entertainment and not being studiously examined for evidence? Being as it relates always to fictional footage, it’s not a terribly pertinent question, yet it hangs heavy over Sinister when true crime writer Ellison Oswalt discovers a batch of grisly Super 8 films in the attic of his newly-bought home. Shot in gory detail by the serial killer whose series of family murders vacated the house, these horrific home movies offer Ellison precisely the material he desires for his next hit book.