Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Although one of the greatest pleasures in film is discovering one to be more than you had expected it to be, it's nice too to leave a theatre satisfied that what you saw fulfilled your expectations, provided that they weren't low to begin with. Sinister achieves just that. I expected to be unmoved by the story, by the design and by the acting, and I expected to be terrified. This is a solidly-made horror film, bereft of the amateurish performances and corny dialogue of many more successful, similar films, but by no means on a par with those transcendent horror films, the likes of which are no longer being made. It follows formula - perhaps, even, it follows too many formulas, and winds up throwing a little bit of everything into the mixture to keep the scare quota high. There are spooky supernatural children, blood-stained corridors, mysterious noises in the attic, animals appearing from nowhere, an ancient Pagan boogieman, found footage of grisly murders and plenty of the requisite sequences of mounting tension eventually dissipated by the inevitable red herring. The more Sinister yields to the more conventional supernatural elements in its DNA, the more it dampens its potential to become one of the more successful horror films of recent years, at least in relation to its reputation. But the Super-8 scenes will desist all dissatisfaction you may have regarding found footage horror - these scenes are hideously disquieting not only in their imagery, but in the musical score by Christopher Young, an expert in horror film music, whose work here has charred itself onto my memory, and will accompany every nightmare I have henceforth. SCARY!