Sinister was directed by Scott Derrickson and released in 2012. It stars Ethan Hawke as Ellison Oswalt, a crime novel writer who moves with his family in the very house where gruesome murders occurred in order to investigate and write his next book. Soon enough, eerie events start happening as Ellison discovers the terrible truth behind those crimes.
Sinister is one my favourite horror movies that came out in recent years. It includes all the horror clichés but uses them in a very efficient way. I particularly like how it creates a creepy atmosphere and thus does not need to rely on many jump scares to frighten the viewer.
It has all the elements to create a great horror movie : a haunted house, ghosts, found-footage and a boogeyman. Its found-footage sequences are the best ones I have seen in recent years as they are useful to the story and not simply a gimmick like in most movies. The use of the 8mm format makes it even creepier.
Ethan Hawke gives a great performance and is really believable in his role. As we witness his investigation and discover more about the crimes at the same pace as the character, it really immerses you in the story and keeps you intrigued.
The directing was also very good. The use of lighting, the eerie music and scenes shown in complete silence etc… Everything is done to enhance the mysterious and scary atmosphere of the movie. For example, Ellison’s office is always in the dark with very little lighting to symbolize the dark territory the main character is exploring.
I was genuinely scared throughout the movie, which is quite rare for me with recent horror movies. I also really enjoyed the movie being a horror thriller rather than a simple boogeyman horror movie.
Finally, without spoiling the film, I loved the fact that it doesn’t have a happy ending. It is tragic and scary to the very last second. Sinister is a great horror movie that I highly recommend.