Sinister 

Sinister begins with one of the year's most arresting pre-credit sequences. A Super 8 camera films four hooded people — a mom, a dad, and two older kids — standing under a tree. They have ropes around their necks, which are attached to a large branch above them. Then, in slow motion, an even larger branch on the opposite side of the frame breaks, hoisting the four bodies off the ground and into the air, where they kick for a few agonizing seconds before ceasing movement altogether. The word "sinister" appears in the lower right-hand corner over a freeze-frame of this now-tranquil tableau.

The aforementioned home movie — and some others like it — is discovered in the attic of the home purchased by struggling true-crime novelist Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke). In a bizarre fit of inspiration, Oswalt has moved his own family into the house where the hangings took place. As Oswalt, Hawke spends most of the film sequestered in his office, watching and rewatching those creepy movies and coming out only to investigate the numerous things that go bump in the night.

If you're willing to make a few leaps in logic, Sinister is an effective modern haunted-house story. Plus, Christopher Young's scratchy soundtrack and director Scott Derrickson's unobtrusive camera work lead to the best pure shock I've seen in theaters this year. There's some gallows comedy as well, from names of the mysterious home movies to the deadpan diffidence of Fred Dalton Thompson as an unimpressed Pennsylvania state trooper.

Now playing, multiple locations

Sinister
Rated R · 110 min. · 2012
Official Site: www.haveyouseenhim.com
Director: Scott Derrickson
Writer: Scott Derrickson
Producer: Jason Blum and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Vincent D'Onofrio, James Ransone, Fred Dalton Thompson, Nicholas King, Clare Foley, Victoria Leigh and Michael Hall D'Addario

Trailer


Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for Sinister

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • The Florida Project

      Orlando grifters live on the edge in director Sean Baker’s follow up to Tangerine.
    • Unreal Film Festival 2017

      Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Festival Invades Studio On The Square.

Blogs

Music Blog

Butthole Surfers and Bad Seeds Salute the Man in Black

Music Blog

Soulsville USA Festival Lights Up McLemore Ave.

We Saw You

Emo and you

Intermission Impossible

Let GCT's Honky Tonk Angels Sing for You

Beyond the Arc

Five Notes on Grizzlies/Pelicans

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Sooth the Pain With All The Rage Documentary at Crosstown Arts

Intermission Impossible

Lipstick Smear: Let Theatre Memphis' "Stage Kiss" slip you some tongue

Hungry Memphis

Tater Tots Now Available at All Huey's

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Addison Engelking

Readers also liked…

  • Time Warp Drive-In 2016

    Scorsese leads off another season of retro movies under the stars.
    • Mar 17, 2016
  • Kong: Skull Island

    Five lessons from the ape-pocalyse
    • Mar 16, 2017
  • Eye In The Sky

    Remote controlled warfare picture misses the mark
    • Apr 7, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation