Saturday, October 13, 2012
SINISTER: Let me start off with that is was most excellent to see Fred Dalton Thompson in this film as a local sheriff. That guy's been around so long that he possesses a quiet calmness that reeks of strength and good will. Look him up. He's a classic character actor. Now, into the movie. I had a good idea that I would be startled and spooked when seeing this. I mean, that's why we go to scary movies, right? I like the thrill, the anticipation building that something is going to make me jump. This movie, for me, took all that to a new level. I've seen a lot of horror movies, not a million or anything crazy like that. I'm not into the heavy gore/torture-porn stuff. I do like a good creep factor, and yes sometimes with that comes a gross-out factor. Done right, I'm sitting pretty (more or less). From the opening scene to the final scare, I was immersed in something fascinating and new. Sure, you think you've got a typical haunted house, kids are creepy movie. It's a lie. You've been duped, but in the most impressive and, if I may be so bold, sinister way. The film's pacing is steady with a performance from Ethan Hawke that makes me so proud to be a fan of his since, well hell, I'll say it. Explorers. There! His ability to make me feel anger and empathy towards his character is really the best part of this, as he walks through the hallways of his home, in the middle of the night, searching for the origin of that sound. That goddamn thud or knock, I've done that too. Yes, I've stood in the blackness of my kitchen, head tilted, trying to figure that out. Outside? Inside? WHAT THE FUCK! Hawke portrays Ellison Oswalt, a true crime novelist working on what he hopes to be his next number one best seller. Nothing spoilery here, that he moves his family into the home of a recent murder of a family of four. His wife is supportive, yet regretful and at times uncertain of why she's supporting him. Their kids, a 13 year old son and a 10 year daughter, have adapted to these changes their father's profession brings them. Deputy So and So is a local cop, a huge fan, and willing to be a part of Ellison's acknowledgements in the new book, lends a sensibility and humor that is natural, and needed, yet no goofy or out of context. Past horrors unfold to the audience as they do to Ellison. His scares are our scares. His moments of jumping back are our moments of jumping back. I have never left a theatre disturbed and slightly shaken. Well, not until now. I urge you not to see any trailers, or view any more trailers. Let the movie speak for itself. I had a few notions, with one panning out, but that didn't ruin anything for me. I actually, at one, blurted out a sound sort of like BAAAAAAAAH! and turned away from the screen, which provided 20 or so embarrassed minutes of muffled and suppressed nervous giggles from me and McKenzie.