Once you see him, nothing can save you: A review of Sinister (2012)


Horror is a very interesting genre of film. Some very influential movies such as the original A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Night of the Living Dead (1968) have come out of this genre throughout the 20th century. They exploit terror, gore, sex, and are intended to shock audiences as a means of enjoyment. In the 1960s and 1970s, horror films were shown after midnight as a means of attracting a crowd that “wanted” to be scared while walking home.

Yeah, I go to school and study film, I’m gonna show off a little bit of what I know, deal with it.

Horror movies these days have two types. The first is the shock film. The film is meant to shock its audience, whether it is with intense images of horrific murders and/or showing as much blood as one can withstand on screen, or having something jump out at you with a loud noise (either in or out of the world of the movie) that startles you and makes your ginger friend scream and maybe even cry. The second is the psychological thriller where the main character’s morals and sanity are put into question as they are faced with something supernatural or beyond their comprehension. Elements of both will indeed show up in both films

Sorry, I need to get back on track. Sinister  is directed by Scott Derrickson and stars Ethan Hawke. The film is about a true-crime author who moves his family into a home to do research on the family that previously lived their. I’m trying not to spoil the movie so I will cut to the chase. The main character, Ellison Oswalt (Hawke) delves into the history of a serial killer that may very well still be at large and has been active since the 1960s, and the last family that was murdered lived in the house they used to live in. So naturally some freaky stuff happens to him and his family

I hate horror movies, straight up. I hate the constant anxiety throughout the entire movie that something is going to jump out and scare the bejesus out of me. But I’m not gonna lie, I was very enthused by Sinister. The story was easy to follow, and sometimes that is hard in a horror movie because the writers are more concerned with shock and awe than an actual story that leads to these events (story is always key!).


Yes, I was clutching a pillow, but I can assure you my eyes were not covered. I was compelled to see what happened next. I’m not someone who is light headed when it comes to blood. Usually, the more the merrier for me. However this film lacked in blood. The images in the movie were not about gore, but the depth of its content and the purpose behind it. That is what made this different than some horror movies I have seen. I was more in shock over a family of four being hung by the neck from a tree, than when someone like Jason Voorhees stabs two teens while they’re making love.

One gripe I had with the film was that the editing tried to hard too be like a Tarantino film. unnecessary fast cuts of closeups of someone making coffee. Or someone locking a door from like three different angles. It literally had nothing to do with the movie and disoriented me from what was really going on.

Overall, Sinister was an anxiety inducing ride that kept me on the edge of my seat and my eyes glued to the screen. The movie is a fitting addition to the horror genre and will indeed give audiences what they want when watching it: a need to keep the lights on next time they’re home alone.

Overall rating: 7/10

Also, this is all just based on opinion. If you like the movie or not, I will not judge you. To each his own, right?



3 responses to “Once you see him, nothing can save you: A review of Sinister (2012)

  1. Pingback: SINISTER | Written in Blood·

  2. Pingback: The Conjuring: A horror movie WORTH seeing | We're Not Sorry·

  3. Pingback: 31 Days of Hallowe’en, Day 7: Sinister (2012) | An Englishwoman in Salem·

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