Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Watched - Sinister

R, 110 minutes

'A true-crime writer finds a cache of 8mm home movies films that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose career dates back to the 1960s.'

Hubby and I watched this the other day and, well, we pretty much hated it.  I was ready to just give up even before the halfway point.  Hubby thought it was boring and not going anywhere, but he's more tolerant of movies and was willing to continue watching, so I continued too.

One thing I absolutely hate in movies or TV shows is when things are visually dark.  Sometimes there needs to be darkness, I understand that, but when sooo much time is spent in the dark it just makes things frustrating for the viewer.  This movie spends way too much time in the dark, and it does nothing for creating tension or fear.

Let me back up.  The main character is a true-crime writer who hasn't had a successful book for ten years now.  The subject of the book he is working on now is the murder of a family and it's one missing daughter.  He moves his family into the house that family had lived in, but doesn't tell his family that part.  While unpacking, he finds a box of old 8mm films and assumes it's family movies.  What he finds is actually films of several other families being murdered.  He becomes obsessed and haunted by this, trying to find out more about these other murders and seeing if they're connected.

And this is where the creepiness is supposed to come into it.  He starts hearing noises in the house and is always going to investigate . . . in the dark.  It's like every night is the same thing: watch the movies, hear the noises, go searching through the dark house.  What is any of it accomplishing as far as the story?  Nothing.  It's just ooooh spooky things go bump in the night attempts at scaring the viewer.  He does start to uncover some connections, like the creepy face he's discovered in each of the films, and that one child is missing from each family/murder scene.  Things eventually become too intense for him and he takes his family and flees back home, to the house they previously lived in and luckily hadn't sold yet.  But what he's uncovered in the other house doesn't seem to stay there.  Ooooooh.

The acting in this movie was rather sucky.  The wife, in particular, was highly annoying.  Their son had unexplained 'night terrors' that seemed to serve no purpose but to have him show up in unexpected places for 'BOO!' type scare tactics.  He'd already had these 'night terrors' in the past so you can't argue to me that it was in any way connected to the creepiness of the house.  The daughter's fondness for painting on the walls served no real purpose either when there was only one of many creepy things that her parents ever noticed.  And the main character's storyline was inconsistent in whether he really wanted to solve this or was just in it for the hoping of finding fame again.  Well, we know the hope of finding fame again is what drove him, but at times it seemed they were trying to make him move beyond that only to swing it back to that in lame, forced arguments with his wife.

The very first old film, the one of the family being hanged, the one we kept seeing repeatedly throughout the movie, was indeed creepy and disturbing.  The others were just 'Gee, how can we creatively kill this next family?'  The grainy images of the the freaky face were creepy too.  The rest of the movie was just a boring letdown.


  1. Haven't watched this one yet but Daughter and I watched "The Conjuring" last night and it was very typical Scary/ mostly Suspenseful and I found it predictable. Now I'm not sure if I want to watch this one, Thanks for the review!

  2. You might still like it! I've talked to more people who liked it than disliked it. Seems I'm in the minority on this one.

    The Conjuring is on my Netflix list, but of course Netflix is so slow about getting new movies. My supervisor at work loved it and has offered to let me borrow his copy of it.

    Did you see Mama? I reviewed that one too. That was creepy.