They say that nothing’s truly original. It’s the unique blend of cliches that makes something seem original. Sinister derives all tried and tested elements of horror and masterfully churns them into an intriguing yet shuddering ride into the darkly world of occult myths and soul cannibalism. For a movie that begins with a yawning prospect of a fading true crime writer moving along with this reluctant family into a secluded house to investigate the closed case of a missing child who was a previous resident, Sinister expeditiously changes the channel, delving into a bizarre set of sequences that will viciously ping-pong you between the grotesqueness of serial crimes and ghastliness of mystical beliefs.
Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke), being the centerpiece, carries a disturbing paranoia in his eyes as he inevitably spirals down from being a cynical crime writer who craves justice to a maniacal husband who succumbs to the fear of evil forces rising from netherworld. He absorbingly portrays an obsessed writer who, in desperate need of a story, even goes onto jeopardizing his family. While the somber tone soars the tension, the minimalist supporting cast involving a concerned wife desiring a normal life and a sleepwalking son snooping around in his father’s office and a dreamy little girl who loves painting on walls and an enthusiastic police officer assisting in Oswalt’s investigation serves just right for the plot. And those incredibly unnerving 8 MM home videos that he finds in the attic magnify horror to undesirable levels.
With a solid lead performance, a haunting atmosphere, chilling night sequences, a queerly occult theme, and a cool soundtrack that simply gets uber-cool during the climax, Sinister will reset all your prevalent notions of horror cinema and play with a whole new layer of fear in your minds.