If you can, avoid watching the trailer, and avertavert your eyes away from the poster. This is probably one example of a major boo-boo in the marketing of a film, having tell too much from its promotional materials already, enough to take the shine and surprises off what the film can offer. Which is pretty much, considering that it's thrown in a haunted house, children who can spook, a mysterious box of Super 8 films, ritualized killings, and suggesting everything could have been made up in the mind, or is it?
Ethan Hawke stars as true crime novelist Ellison, in need of another bestseller soon not only to bring home the bacon, but to stroke his ego as the best novelist out there. And to do that means to crawl in someone's skin and walk around in it, this time opting to uproot his entire family, to stay in a house where its previous occupants were hung from a tree, and their daughter gone missing. Nothing better than to be somewhere where it can help boost one's research right? Keeping this a secret from his family, especially wife Tracy (Juliet Rylance), it's only natural that he starts to experience the inexplicable that goes bump at night.
Scott Derrickson managed to keep things moving along with cheap scares done effectively well, and then some, by effectively building atmosphere, and anticipation, stretching a rubber band slowly to its maximum, before letting it snap. And as an audience, you'll be lapping it up each time he does that, because there were a couple of nifty surprises or two that came up along with it. Ethan Hawke carried the film on his shoulders, given he's in almost every scene, and usually alone when he walks around at night in the house.
Although it's an ending that would have come expected given the big reveal happening a tad too early, it certainly does open some doors to some follow up films, and probably established a cult horror figure that can be further explored and utilized by others. Only time will tell.
You can read my review of Sinister at movieXclusive.com by clicking on the logo below.