Posted on 10/29/12 06:35 AM
Sinister epitomizes everything that's wrong with contemporary American horror. Jump shocks (I call it a shock instead of a scare because frequently, there's very little that's scary about them), a affluence of disturbing images, creepy children, a threadbare plot... The movie, which runs for almost two hours, is probably too long. Even with this running time, the mystery, which could have been great should the writers have decided to spend more time developing it, is merely serviceable (and I mean this in the most utilitarian sense possible) and still wraps itself up too quickly at the end.
That being said, the dialogue is entertaining and the cast, especially Ethan Hawke deliver solid performances, which keeps he movie from dragging and helps maintain the upward ratchet of anxiety. The performances also help bolster the eerie atmosphere, as do the snuff videos that lie at the center of the story. Yes, the film relies on and abundance of creepy images, but the images make sense within the context of the film, and some of them made me feel genuinely uncomfortable.
Sinister is a bad movie done well, and I got the sense that the film would have been exactly what horror needed if the filmmakers had been a little less familiar with the genre.
Also, the monster looks like he belongs in Slipknot.