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Horror - Demons

Sinister (2012)

Duration1h 50m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Denmark: 15
Source of storyAn orignal screenplay
DirectorScott Derrickson
Writers/ScriptScott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
StarringEthan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Nick King, Vincent D’Onofrio
RatingsIMDb: 6.8/10 by 246.022 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 63% by 154 reviewers. Review2view: 6/10.

Elevator Pitch: Ellison Oswalt is a writer whose two most recent novels have bombed has moved into a house which has been the scene of a murder of a complete family apart from one child who has disappeared. Given the time he explores the quite large house and finds an 8mm projector and some film. He watches the film and finds it is of a group who are hanged when a tree branch to which their ropes are attached falls to the ground lifting them into the air. In time he sees other films of bazaar collective deaths of families and after consulting with a professor who knows about the occult, finds that they all have similarities and may involve a demon like character who, when he appears in images, can invade reality. Ellison realises his family are in danger but in his efforts to save them possibly makes things worse. 

Content: No sex or nudity. Ellison drinks quite a bit, but it is not a problem because he is a writer – probably. The family spread out in what is a very large house, and sometimes things go bump in the night causing Ellison  to wander about with a  torch. He operates the film projector and talks to a deputy-sheriff which helps him with the history of family killings. He burns the projector and the films at one point. He does not seem to do any writing.

A View: This was an extremely low budget film, with a small cast and probably no studio time and it made money. Some of the critics felt that it was too derivative, they were probably thinking of “The Ring” But even so it is quite ingenious, feeding us more information gradually which probably confirms our suspicions. But both my wife and I quite enjoyed it. So worth a watch but you have to pay attention.

Slightly unusual Ethan Hawke films worth a watch which have been reviewed here include Predestination, Boyhood and the amazing Training Day

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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