Cinematic Releases: Sinister - Halloween Horror #1

Just in time for the scariest month of the year, we are hand delivered one of the best American horror films of the past decade. Sinister is hands down a horror film that finally gets it right. It's a tense cinematic treat that never veers off track in to a gory, blood soaked kill party, just for the simple sake of showing something shocking. Instead, we get a horror film that uses sound, shadows and darkness to their full advantage, all the while building a solid back story driven by developed characters. Really? I can't believe it.

This is how horror was made in the past, and how it should continue to be made. Comparisons throughout the film could be made to The Amityville Horror and The Strangers (two of my favorites). I won't say that the story is similar to either of those films, but more so similar in tone and structure.

The first positive point is that they didn't go light on casting. Ethan Hawke is absolutely fabulous in Sinister. Typically, Hawke makes wise choices in the movies he makes. This is definitely another check mark on his oft dynamic sense of character. The second positive is the fact that director Scott Derrickson delivers a horror film that is truly scary. In the past several years, the domestic market has faltered under the weight of the Saw series and wannabe Hostel films. Although those franchises delivered something new, it's simply time to move on. I like horror that doesn't depend strictly on a masked man or a killing device.

The only complaint is the film seems to run a bit long. Some scenes of dialogue could have been cut down and were a bit unneeded. Also, the conclusion could have used a little more work to really drive it home. Yet, I walked out of the theater with a smile on my face, happy that I actually got to see a really good scary movie before Halloween.