Sinister

Sinister is a supernatural horror movie released in October of 2012 directed by Scott Derrickson and written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. Starring Ethan Hawke, the movie uses found footage along with usual cinematography. Apparently Pagan deities can shoot and edit super 8 films! Let me tell you – Pagan deities kick so much ass when compared to the Abrahamic god & his stooges.

Ellison Oswalt (Hawke) is a true-crime writer who has his glory days 10 years ago. He is struggling to sell his books now and is desperate for a big seller. On hearing about the death by hanging of a family of 4 from a tree, he moves his family to the same house that they lived in in hopes to do enough research to get a best seller. He doesn’t tell this to his wife Tracy or his two young kids, who just think that they moved house to save money. Ellison intends to use the murders as the basis for his new book, and hopes that his research will turn up the fate of the family’s fifth member, a little girl named Stephanie who disappeared following the murders. On the night that they move, Ellison finds a box in the attic that contains a projector and several reels of Standard 8 mm footage that are each labeled as if innocent home movies. After he kills a scorpion that startles him discovers that the reels, labeled like home movies are actually footage of murders of 5 families. The first shows the family member having their throats slit in bed (Sleepy Time ’98 ), being burnt to death in a car (BBQ ’79), being drowned in their pool (Pool Party ’66), being run over by a lawn mower (Lawn Work ’86), and the hanging that opened the movie (Family Hanging Out ’11).

The viewings begin even more disturbing when Ellison notices a demonic looking figure in each of the films, seemingly watching the murders and perhaps being the mastermind. He also finds a symbol shown in each of the houses & childish drawings depicting the murders, along with crude sketches of the demonic figure, identified as “Mr. Boogie.” With the help of a deputy who happens to be a fan (the rest of the town folk do not approve of Ellison writing a book on the murders and profiting from the family’s deaths) Ellison discovers that the murders depicted in the films took place at different times, beginning in the 1960s, and in different cities across the country. He also learns that the families were all drugged before being killed; and that a child from each family went missing following every murder. He also consults with a local professor Jonas who is an expert on the occult hat the symbols are that of a pagan deity named Bughuul (Nick King), who would kill entire families so that he could take their children into his realm and consume their souls. Ellison soons starts to get haunted by the decaying figures of the 5 missing children, with lights & the projector getting switched on in the middle of the night and his son’s night terrors start to flare up. Ellison’s young daughter Ashley who paints on the walls in her room also paints an image of one of the missing girls in another room.

One night he sees the decaying children watching the reels of film in the attic and is spooked by Bughuul. Ellison tells his wife to wake the kids and pack up as they are leaving for their old home. He later gets a call from prof. Jonas who sends his scanned images of Bughuul which are partially destroyed because ancient cultures believed that Bughuul lived within the images, and that they acted as portals between his realm and the mortal world. To Ellison’s horror, he then finds the same box of reels and a projector in his attic, with an extra section called “extended cut endings”. Next the deputy calls and informs him that he has discovered a link between each of the murders: Every family had previously lived in the house where the last murder took place, and each new murder occurred shortly after the family moved into their new residence; by moving, Ellison has placed himself and his family in line to be the next victims. Ellison watches the new films which depicts the missing children coming onscreen following each murder, revealing themselves to be the killers before suddenly disappearing. Before he can react, Ellison becomes light-headed; inspecting his coffee cup, he finds a note reading “Good Night, Daddy” and a green liquid inside the cup before losing consciousness.

As he wakes up he finds himself, his wife & son gagged and tied up and Ashely filming them with an 8mm camera, promising to make him famous again. shley then proceeds to murder her family with an ax, using their blood to paint images of cats, dogs and unicorns on the walls. Her work complete, Ashley views the Super-8 film of her murders, which concludes with an image of the missing children watching her. The children run when Bughuul appears & lifts Ashley into his arms and disappears into the film with her. The last scene we see is of of the box of films in the Oswalt family’s attic, now accompanied by a reel labeled “House Painting ’12“, followed by Bughuul, hiding from the side, scaring the crap outta us!

Scary with a few jumps and scares, I enjoyed it but it did disappoint as I expected a whole lot more. It is a good horror movie to watch without being disgusted by an overdose of gore & blood. 7.5 outta 10!

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