An opinion I like to stick with, more often than not, is that horror films are incredibly subjective and different people find different things entertaining and of course, scary. And in my humble opinion, Sinister has to be one of the best modern horror films and one of the most overlooked, for more than a few reasons.
I find with modern horror films, they either aren’t horror films and would fit the thriller genre better or try to hard, completely over do it and become something ridiculous. Which is why I have a great respect for Blumhouse and how they keep the budgets low. It really does help to stop people going over the top and leading a potentially great horror film into some stupid, gore driven movie. But the tone of Sinister was perfect, just the right combination of a brilliantly tense atmosphere joined with a speck of hope that maybe he’ll figure out in time to save his family. But of course, that doesn’t happen in a perfect twist, that I don’t even want to spoil.
Before that twist though, the build up has perfect amount of jump scares. Not enough to have me rolling my eyes by the end but enough that I think I can start predicting them, but still fail. It also truly grasps how to bring horror, to a horror film, without needing to rely solely on jumpscares. The home videos of the families dying in truly awful ways, provides a sickly tone without overdoing the gore. The insert of having Bughuul’s face appear, every now and then, like in the back of some of the old home videos, is truly menacing by pushing the idea that he’s been watching the entire time. It all adds up to create a great horror without having to sell itself out.
I also can’t write this, without mentioning the truly brilliant soundtrack that went with the film. Christopher Young did a truly fantastic job with it by really helping to set the eerily, creepy atmosphere that comes with the film. In fact, I love it so much that I have a tendency to listen to it while doing day to day things. Because who doesn’t want to be constantly reminded that Bughuul could be watching while your trying to make a sandwich?
My favourite part of all though, that really solidified this as being a great horror film, was something so simple that creeped me out so much, that minutes after I couldn’t help but grin with how pleased I was by the moment. It was of course, the moment when Bughuul’s face moves in the still image on Ethan Hawkes computer. The idea that it was watching, moving when he was not looking so he would himself, never know, was truly scary.
The cherry on top of this great horror film was the acting being truly brilliant. Ethan Hawke produces a brilliant performances as usual, James Ransone is fantastically likeable and sweet as Deputy So and So and Juliet Rylance also delivers a lovely performance. The child actors were also great, and even though the bar is being set high due to the likes of Jacob Tremblay and the kids of Stranger Things, it can still be hard to get kids that can act well in horrors. But these children do a great job, especially the little girl who had to be truly chilling at the end of the film and did a stellar job with it.