The Horror Movie saga: Sinister
I’m pulled into different directions reviewing horror, on the one hand I want to apply the same judgement to all films, but then again horror rarely sets out with the same objectives. The bottom line is that this was another seriously harrowing horror movie in the saga.
In the spirit of judging it like a regular film, I thought the family dynamic and the whole tension on the side-line was oddly difficult to watch, and it added a layer to the stakes as well as helping us to see a real family. What this film had that ‘As above so below’ didn’t, was that serious concern for safety. There were many innocents you were worried for, but even when Ellison (Ethan Hawke) made a very key decision in a crossroad moment that might have jeopardised his family’s safety, it wasn’t the same level of stupidity that would make you stop caring for the character.
Into the actual fear factor. Believe it or not, this saga wasn’t my debut into horror, I have watched a few over the course of my life. Having said that, in terms of the disturbing element, there are scenes in this film that surpass absolutely anything I’ve seen. Everything from the completely unorthodox music to the imperfect image quality to the act itself were seriously traumatising. The night scenes arrived often, and they were relentless and cruel.
Usually films play around with mini phobias you probably have, with ‘As above so below’ it was claustrophobia, here it was predominantly praying on your fear of darkness, and the sounds that occur around. In all honesty some of those scenes did occur a tad often, with only small differences each time, but I couldn’t say that it stopped scaring me.
My final point on Sinister (small spoiler incoming), is that once again the power this film had was the slow induction of the creepy villain, the first time we kind of saw him was utterly terrifying, the next few times were still very effective. The moment the tension and the fear eased off slightly were the full visuals and the supernatural element. The moment it didn’t feel like something that could happen to me watching at home, was instantly the buffer of the pure fear I was experiencing. Again, my experience may not be the same as other people with suspicions about the supernatural, but for me it was a small let off.
I can’t say I enjoyed watching the film because I was so often petrified, but the next day I’ve started to appreciate the art and the effectiveness of Sinister. I wasn’t as interested in the backstory as I was with ‘As above so below’, but this film was scarier in more ways and overall.