From the producer of Paranormal Activity and writer/director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister is being marketing as a horror film which it is but is much more than your run of the mill haunted house story. Its part horror, suspense, psychological thriller, supernatural ghost story, true crime drama and even part snuff film. It gives plot nods to The Amityville Horror and in smaller extent The Strangers. Ethan Hawke plays Ellison Oswalt a true crime writer moving his family into a murder house so he can write a book about it and re-ignite his career. The local sheriff’s none to pleased or happy with their presence given the former residents demise and Oswalts reputation and best seller Kentucky Blood.
It’s a different/unique take on the ‘found footage’ genre, having the main character find old home movies stashed up in the attic. The audience watches the strategically placed Super 8’s with him throughout the movie sharing his feeling and emotions. Some start innocently with family get-together’s but end up gruesome. The films grainy footage, high realism and creepy melancholy ambiance give off feelings of hidden discomfort watching them through windows or witnessing a creepy crawl in their homes. A few reels in we see Mr. Boogie. Hawke’s character slowly tries to put the pieces together as things happen around the house from bumps in the night to ghostly projector running. We watch as he slowly starts to mentally unravel while his wife deals with his bizarre behavior and the situation’s influence on the kids. Despite some drawings on the wall the scares for the most part are creative and original. Past and present events play with his conscious showing an inner struggle questioning his own motivations and the building driving/obsessive desire to know more about what happened and why. Has he written true crime for his own personal gain and legacy or an honest desire to bring justice to the victim’s?