What I'm Watching: Sinister
The trailers for this movie looked AMAZING. Some of the creepier imagery I've seen in a long time. And they set such a great mood and idea. I was so totally stoked for this movie.
So of course I walked out of the theatre VERY disappointed with the movie.
Sinister has some good points. Ethan Hawke as Ellison Oswald is amazing. He puts in one hell of a performance as a writer struggling for one more hit book, struggling to keep it together, keep his family together, and figure out the mystery he's stumbled into.
That part of the movie totally works.
Watching him try and piece things together takes up much of the movie, and that is a problem. They really give you every inch of research he does. And that can be a good thing, but after the entire first act, you kinda just want to see shit happen.
Much of the movie you spend time watching Ellison do nothing more than watch movies, and get drunk. I find this almost as thrilling as I would when I'd hang out with friends and end up just watching them play video games. This is not fun.
It's well done stuff, and there are some good moments in the research, and it is JUST interesting enough, but they really needed to do something to move the pace along. Maybe if this wasn't marketed as a horror movie, it would be more palatable? I'm not sure. Maybe if it was a dark, twisted drama with a few supernatural elements, I'd be happier.
The movie also relies WAY too much on the dreaded jump scare. Almost every good scare comes from BAM SOMETHING JUMPS AT YOU and no real tension. Sinister builds tension but then BAM LOUD NOISE.
And when it does try to be legit scary, it just ends up being kids doing weird things that end up being more silly than scary. I found myself wanting to laugh way more than I wanted to hide under my seat. Which...yeah, that's failure number one on the list of things to avoid.
Kids CAN be creepy. Watch any damned j-horror movie, or The Shining. But here, they don't say anything, they just mug for the camera, with silly, derpy faces. And when they try and hide from notice, they hunch over like Quasimodo and tip toe around. I am so sorry, but no. That's goofy.
This movie had SUCH promise, but it failed to deliver that promise. I may give it another chance though, just for Hawke's performance, and much of the dialogue is sharp...it's just the plot and actual attempts to scare that fail miserably. If I come at it with a different mindset, from a different angle, maybe I'll like it more.
I feel like this is the "Red Eye" debacle all over again.
Yes, it's better than Clown Hunt.