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Blu-ray Review: ‘Sinister’ Has Strong Visuals, Great Lead Performance

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CHICAGO – Scott Derrickson’s “Sinister” was beloved in certain horror-loving circles (including a rave from our very own Adam Fendelman) and it’s indicative of the state of the genre that this film’s flaws were overlooked simply because it’s so undeniably vastly superior to junk like “Paranormal Activity 4” and “The Last Exorcism, Part II.” There are some great ideas in “Sinister” and a truly strong central performance from the always-good Ethan Hawke but the film meanders at 110 minutes and the final act proves that pacing problems will be the most horrific thing about a poorly-written horror film.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

I was totally with the first act of “Sinister,” a film about a true crime writer who moves into a house with a mysterious past only to discover that he’s in the line of supernatural fire himself. There are some nicely creepy moments and truly shocking imagery (most of it on grainy film, giving it an even eerier sense of realism). The problems start when one figures where “Sinister” is going relatively quickly and then it takes forever to get there. The second half of the film sags because it becomes repetitive in its inevitability, like watching a man sink into quicksand. Hawke does his best to save it and I really like Derrickson as a filmmaker but this film just needed to be tightened on a script level to work. (And it would have been smart to keep Angela Bettis’ effective, mood-changing cameo, included here in the deleted scenes, just for the sake of variety).

Sinister was released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 19, 2013
Sinister was released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 19, 2013
Photo credit: Summit

Synopsis:
Once you see him, nothing can save you.

Ten years ago, true crime writer Ellison Oswald made his reputation with a best-selling account of a notorious murder. Now, desperate to replicate success of his first book, he moves his family into a home where the previous occupants were brutally executed and a child disappeared, hoping to find inspiration in the crime scene. In the home, Ellison discovers a cache of terrifying home movies, unwittingly opening the door into a nightmarish mystery.

Special Features:
o Audio Commentary With Director Scott Derrickson
o Audio Commentary With Writers Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill
o True Crime Authors Featurette
o Living In A House Of Death Featurette
o Deleted Scenes
o Digital Copy Included

“Sinister” stars Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, and Fred Dalton Thompson. It was directed by Scott Derrickson and released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 19, 2013.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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