Fright Fortnight: A Sinister evening

4 mins read

With Halloween in sight, turn off the light and watch Sinister tonight.

The 2012 Scott Derrickson mystery horror tells the tale of a true crime writer looking for inspiration for his next book. Desperate, he moves into the house which is the scene of the crime he’s investigating. When he finds a video with the recording of the murder, things get even more chilling. Who made the video? Who killed the family? What happened to the missing child?

Sinister, besides being terrifying, has a superb plot, which is undoubtedly the highlight of the film. It’s mysterious, engaging and simply phenomenal. From the very beginning it sets up a world you can lose yourself in. There’s a secret to uncover and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. The characters, the plot twist, and the ending show excellent writing worthy of multiple rewatches.

Image Credit: Momentum Pictures

Ellison, brilliantly portrayed by Ethan Hawke, is a great main character of a horror. He is a clever true crime writer, which also makes him a decent investigator. He guides the audience through the story, unraveling the mystery together with the viewers. His perspective makes some scenes even more horrifying.

In a 2022 study, Sinister had been determined to be the second scariest film ever made, according to science. Broadbandchoices conducted the experiment by constantly monitoring the heart rate of 50 participants who all watched over 100 hours of scary movies. The list was narrowed down to 35 scariest films ever, with Sinister taking the second place after Host (2020, dir. Rob Savage). The participants’ average resting heart rate was 64 BPM, but while watching Sinister the average went up to 86 BPM. When watching Host the viewers’ average heart rate was 88 BPM, which was the highest increase recorded in the study.

Want to make your evening truly petrifying? Why not follow up Sinister with Sinister 2 (2015, dir. Ciaran Foy)? Both Sinister and its sequel are chillingly scary, watched as a marathon one after the other they’re a guarantee for an amazing fright night.

Following the footsteps of its predecessor, Sinister 2 gives the audience quite a scare, but the story and its characters rely too heavily on the success of the first installment, making the film lacking in some departments.

The change of perspective of the main character, diving deeper into the lore, and giving the villain more screentime were all fantastic decisions, but their execution (and the writing) was of poor quality. While Sinister is a frightening horror with a good story, Sinister 2 is a good horror film, but unfortunately, it is not a good film in general.

Still, all fans of terror will find themselves loving it for the horrifying plot, chilling torture scenes and terrifying jump scares.

Sinister is currently available on Netflix for subscribers, and Sinister 2 can be rented on Amazon Prime Video.

Featured Image Credit: Momentum Pictures

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Film, media & journalism student

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