Outside of writing novels, screenplays, short stories, song lyrics, poems, and you know, the whole nine, I also try my hand at writing both movie and video game reviews. So today, I thought I'd do up a little review of the 2012 horror film SINISTER since the sequel is hitting theaters pretty soon. Enjoy... I had a lot of anticipation going into this film do to the constant word of mouth by people I know personally who'd seen it, claiming it was the scariest horror film in the last decade, as well as watching the trailers and some short reviews to garner my hype. Sinister is about a crime novelist played by Ethan Hawk who moves his family into the very same house where a previous family was murdered, specifically hung in their backyard, only his wife and children don't know it. Upon arrival, Ellison (Ethan Hawk) soon discovers a box of 8mm films in the attic which show in graphic detail a series of grisly murders, each one labeled and featuring a different family. Pretty creepy stuff, and that's my first complaint. This movie was more creepy than it was actually scary, and I think that's the case with most modern-day horror films. When I was really young, like ten, sure I'd be scared to sit in my living room all by myself at night with all the lights out and watch say Friday the 13th or Child's Play. I'd go to sleep at night and think Chucky was under my bed, or some shadow cast across the wall was Micheal Myers standing in the corner of my bedroom, when in fact it was just a hanging bathrobe. But Sinister is one of those films that asks us to suspend our belief of the supernatural, due to there being heavy elements of it throughout the film. That never gets me anymore. A more realistic scenario, at least for me, comes across as more scary. (Although I am contradicting myself as I type this because I am currently writing a horror script that does contain some supernatural elements.) Take The Blair Witch Project for example. Here we have three documentarians who get lost in the woods and become hunted. Who they're hunted by, we never actually see throughout the entire film. So what does the Blair Witch look like? Well, that's left for our imagination to decide, to visualize, and that's why it was effective. But aside from the presence of the supernatural, there's a few things in Sinister that I most definitely enjoyed, and the first being Ethan Hawk's performance. Here we have a guy who's desperately trying to top one of his earlier works titled "Kentucky Blood" and will willingly move his family into a murder site to do research. To investigate the mysteries at hand. There was one scene in particular in which his wife finds out that he'd moved them into the same house as the former slaughtered family and the confrontation between the two actors gets pretty intense. The acting, very good. The movie also starts out with a very eerie frame, SPOILER - four family members noosed to a tree. The tree's branch is mysteriously lowered by some unknown force and the family is then lifted off their feet. Get used to this image, because it will make it's rounds, appearing a good four or five times in the film. Ellison will go into his study to investigate a noise, then suddenly the projector screen will turn on and there we'll see that very same image again. There are two trends going on in Sinister. Found footage and creepy children. But the creepy children become even creepier in this movie because they are seemingly ghost children. And the way they move is just as chilling. Ellison will walk down the hallways of his house and the ghost children will sneak around in the b.g., only they'll be moving in slow-motion, Ellison, real time. This effect is done really well because it makes it seem like the children are in another realm, and in a way, they are - Bughuul's realm. And who is Bughuul? Just some wackjob in a mask, or was it a painted face? Whoever he is, he's the one responsible for quite a bit of what happens so I won't delve too much into him. Another thing that I liked was Deputy So and So. Yeah I know the name sounds corny, but his role in the movie is anything but, as he turns out to be quite an essential character. Ellison is so busy between his work and his family that having someone aid him in his research into the crimes becomes really convenient, and that's exactly what Deputy So and So does. He also has one of the creepiest lines in the entire film. Another component of the film that I liked was how we see the result of a murder without it getting too gory because we know what happens in advance through drawings. And there is one drawing in particular that really grabs our attention. It's a plant-payoff formula that works really well, as we learn early on that Ellison's daughter likes to draw, and we soon suspect, that her drawings will somehow play a role. And they do, a big one. Some things that I didn't like were the cliche moments involving Ellison roaming slowly through his house in the middle of the night to investigate strange noises. One of these sequences even goes on for a good ten minutes, and by the end of it, he's in the attic only to discover it was a snake under a pile of boxes. All that agony of watching Ellison move through his house for ten minutes only for it to turn out to be a snake! That's what I call a cheap payoff. His son's nightmares were another dislike. Yeah, there's a good scene in which his son emerges from a box while emitting a chilling scream. We think he's possessed or something, yet he was actually only sleepwalking. Another stupid payoff, and ultimately this becomes a distraction for Ellison throughout the movie. Even some of the actual murders in the films were unoriginal, except one, but the imagery itself makes up for it. So overall, I would say Sinister is satisfying for what it is, a solid horror film that takes modern-day horror trends and makes them it's own while effectively tieing in a good old ghost story. Is it worth a viewing Yes. But don't count on having any nightmares afterwards. I give sinister a solid B. So what do you guys think, do you want to see the movie now? If anyone has seen the film, please feel free to tell me what you think of my review. Also, feel free to write your own scary movie review or any movie review in general in this thread so I/we can give you our feedback. If you don't feel like writing a movie review than just tell us, what's your favorite scary movie and why? Next up I will do a review of Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007).