Sinister, with Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Thompson & James Ransone. Scott Derrickson, Director. I’ll tell you. When it comes to supernatural thrillers, I’m a little burnt out. With all the literature out there, all I seem to see is the same one out of ten formula stories. Instead of someone actually asking someone else, have they read a horror selection lately that would make a good film. How much of an audience risk would this be, for a production company & a b-list actor’s contract bottom line? Libraries & bookstores are full of wonderful concepts. Finding something different isn’t that hard.
I’m very disappointed that Hawke would read this script & then sign on. He’s still a fairly big name. Wonderful in Daybreakers (2009), he still has his vim, vigor & a future ahead of him.
A family moves into a house where the murder of the former occupants has previously happened. The father, a writer played by Hawke, intent on creating a literary hit, immersing himself in the crime scene. He doesn’t tell his family about it, at first. He begins to hear & experience strange happenings, after finding a box full of old Super 8 formatted film. Home movies, supposedly from the previous owners.
Does this sound like a new concept? No way.
Fred Thompson, previously from NBC’s Law & Order franchise, makes a cameo appearance in the film. He’s got bills to pay, I would assume, from his run last year as a candidate for his party’s nomination, for the 2012 US presidential elections. Wherein he was accused of being lazy & not campaigning. Still, he’s a great on screen presence. Vincent D’Onofrio, also from that network’s franchise, pops up for a surprise visit. It’s old home week in the supporting actors’ lounge!
You know there’s a problem when the only thing that I noticed being interesting was the background score. However; even this was confusing as I was a unsure whether the music, during the playing of the above-mentioned Super 8 films was part of the film, or background music for the actual movie. So, yes. Even the film score was flawed.
Other than Hawke being the professional that he is, good in anything; Ransone was a standout presence. Vital & refreshing. Basically a TV actor, I do hope he is able to attach himself to something successful, eventually. It would be a shame to waste his talent. His portrayal of a police officer flunkie; shy, but intent on involving himself with the writer’s effort, on the crime novel – is something to take note. So much charisma projected in a role, supporting the story & Hawke. I like him.
The pace of the film was too predictable, with the supernatural shenanigans starting soon after the family moves into their new digs. The script was boring. The wife, played by Rylance, was written in the dullest fashion. Her role as a nagging harpy one minute & understanding spouse the next, eliminated any chance that she’ll ever be remembered for this film. The childrens’ characters, played by Michael Hall D’Addario & Clare Foley, were also written poorly despite their importance to the story. In short, a mess.
I do not recommend that anyone bother to see this film. It’s a waste of time. Even an Ethan Hawke fan would be left out in the rain. Wondering why, why, why.
A disappointing, Halloween seasonal offering.
Find an old Boris Karloff thing to watch instead.