Sunday, July 7, 2013

Night Terrors

No idea where the paragraph breaks went in my last post, I swear they were there when I wrote it. In case they disappear from this one after posting, I assure you they're here as I write this one, too!

I'm writing this around 2am with most of the lights in my house on. The lights are staying on, possibly forever. I'm going to forward my electric bill to Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill, because it's their fault I'm not ready to face whatever might be waiting in the dark.

Sinister (directed by Derrickson, co-written by Derrickson & Cargill) is the story of a true-crime author who moves his family to a house with an unsavory past. It's not a haunted house movie, not exactly, nor is it a found footage movie (thank God) but it wisely balances the strongest elements of both. Sinister is the best kind of scary, it's that gets-under-your-skin kind of scary, and it never gets overly graphic or fetishistic in its depiction of violence.

I won't say too much about the plot, only that it involves the aforementioned true-crime author (Ethan Hawke) researching a grisly series of murders with a possibly supernatural bent. There are real surprises in store, and the movie is expertly paced, allowing the tension to ratchet up without sacrificing characterization to spook-house jump-scares. There are several solid jump-scares, but the movie is more interested in doling out the kind of fear that sticks with you long after the credits roll.

Sinister is one of the strongest horror movies of the past few years. Smart and scary are too often seen as mutually exclusive, it's great to see a movie that is both of those things. It's well worth seeking out...just make sure you can afford having to keep all your lights on for quite some time.

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