Sinister Arrives in Theaters Today

Sinister writer C. Robert Cargill and producer Jason Blum pose on the Red Carpet during Fantastic Fest in September, prior to the film screening at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. (Photo by Jack Plunkett)

Sinister director Scott Derrickson, writer C. Robert Cargill and producer Jason Blum answer audience questions following their film’s screening during Fantastic Fest at the Alamo Drafthouse Lamar theater, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jack Plunkett)

The creepy new poster from SINISTER, designed by SA Studios was released during Fantastic Fest.

I do find the feature film, Sinister, very disturbing, more than I can say frightening. Make no mistake, I was slightly frightened in some scenes, but none that made me want to dive under the seat the way I used to be when I watched genre films years gone by. I find it hard enough to get through some genre films because of the things that happen to adults, but it is more difficult to handle when the children are involved. Director Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) co-wrote the screenplay with Austinite C. Robert Cargill. The children are part of the disturbing images and some viewers may find this more than they can handle in a genre film, but the young actors are incredible as they convey so much without saying a word in most scenes, which include children Victoria Leigh, Cameron Ocasio, Ethan Haberfield, Danielle Kotch and Blake Mizrahi.

I do have to say one of the scenes that most gave me chills early on in the film is by Michael Hall D’Addario (People Like Us) who stars as Trevor, son of Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) and Tracy (Juliet Rylance), shortly after they move into a new town along with his sister, Ashley (Clare Foley). The slowness of D’Addario’s action, the cinematography by Chris Norr and original music by Christopher Young combined had me on the edge of my seat and holding my breath. Whew!

Hawke has the lead as a true crime novelist who had a hit a decade before and moves the entire family to a new town to chase his dream to make it again. He does not have a good handle on communicating with his wife and children that makes matters worse. The screenplay has a focus on having the writer discover a box of mysterious, disturbing home movies that he does discuss with neither his wife, the Sheriff (Fred Dalton Thompson) nor the Deputy (James Ransone) who avails himself to Oswalt in doing research. This family has no idea what the head of household has led them into and what a supernatural horror unfolds.

This film definitely can give a whole new meaning to a home movie and found footage.

Sinister opens nationwide on October 12.

By Liz Lopez

Rating B-

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