Sinister (Summit, 2012)
The 21st Century Horror movie renaissance continues with Sinister. It would be impossible for me to really review this movie without a smattering of S P O I L E R S, so turn back now if you haven't seen the film yet or don't want it spoiled. I often joke that old technology is evil, and the Bughuul, or “Mr. Boogie” as the spirit children label him in their drawings, employs 1960s Super 8 home movies to document the murders. These home movies are gruesome, and the Saw snuff porn crowd would love this shit. I am more of the “implied violence is scarier” kind of fan, but either way it makes an impact on you. The Bughuul is supposedly some ancient creature around since biblical times, according to a college professor who Skypes with the true crime writer that Ethan Hawke portrays. Why a biblical-era monster would settle on 1960s technology is beyond me.
The film's premise has holes in it that you can drive through, but it still works as a fun popcorn flick. A true crime writer whose past is brighter than his future moves his family into the house of the scene of an unsolved multiple homicide. He finds a box of home movies in the attic, and puts them on. They depict various murders, and all are labeled with seemingly innocent titles like “Hanging Out”, “Yard Work”, etc. Now, if this were me, I'd turn them over to the police department upon discovery and let them send them to the FBI. Nope, not this guy. The best thing to do in his mind is get drunk and watch them, transfer them to his computer, and go frame by frame looking for clues.
This film has numerous tense moments that actually made me jump, a pleasant surprise after seeing so many Horror movies. While I disliked the modern editing techniques (nanosecond camera angle changes, occasionally herky-jerky editing, etc.), I found the movie enjoyable as a whole for what it was. Sinister is a disturbing and compelling commentary about the human condition with an underlying cautionary tale about trading up your home. Buy one house and stay there is the moral of this story.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.
Follow my blog on Facebook.