Writer: Siti Munawirah MustaffaWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Paranormal Activity” and “Insidious”
There is only one reason that charms the reviewer into watching "Sinister", and to point it out is just as easy as breathing: Ethan Hawke. Well, seriously, how many women out there can actually refuse to watch the "Before Sunrise" beauty on screen (or off screen, hopefully)?
While Hawke's performance is top-notch as usual, despite his first attempt at horror, the story itself is a slight disappointment. The only new twist here is Bughuul a.k.a Mr. Boogie, an evil demon existing since ancient Pagan times that looks like a botched-up version of Michael Jackson and a Slipknot member combined. Notorious for eating the souls of little children, the raccoon-eyed and heavily powdered Mr. Boogie lures them into killing their families, with each gruesome murder recorded on Super 8 films.
An aspiring fame-chasing author as well as a complete fool for unnecessary thrills, Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) moves to a house that has once been Mr. Boogie's territory in search of inspiration for his new book. Unknowingly, he finds the snuff reels, each being given sweet, innocent titles such as 'Family Hanging Out' and 'Pool Party'. Each day is filled with increasing amount of Scotch as the home-made films give that 'I can't look but I can't look away either' effect. Slowly and gradually, he begins to uncover a supernatural phenomenon that is just so... sinister (drum rolls). Spoiler much?
Well, worry not for nothing compares to the size and amount of plot holes this film seems to be infected with. As inquisitive as Ellison Oswalt himself, we are all weighed with many questions, such as why the hell would Ellison move to a house that has once been a witness to a heinous murder in the first place? Also, his refusal to take off with the whole family even after strange unexplained events occur around the house has proven him to be someone who either has all the courage or just merely lacks common sense.
"Sinister" may bring fresh twists to cult-linked homicides and incite curious viewers into actually Googling for Bughuul to see if he's real. The bad news is, a strained marriage, a couple of weird kids and the perpetual darkness (Ellision's trying to save electricity, perhaps?) only serve to mold it into another horror cliche.
On the bright side, the soundtracks (all composed by Christopher Young) are superb, and are probably among the best in the horror film genre.
Although the storyline may be downright frustrating, the horrifying effects work. Add that to the fact that Hawke studies his character well, as he places some depth in his role as a self-centred family man, a writer who desperately seeks wealth and fame while at the same time is unable to escape from his fears.
Yes, "Sinister" is without a doubt, scary! Scary to the point that the reviewer literally jolts out of her seat during certain scenes (thank you, good effects!). But as the film reaches its third quarter, viewers may realize the film is only worth a watch for the spooks and not the story as a whole, after all.Cinema Online, 23 October 2012