x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Sinister: Well-trodden story bouyed by acting, thrills

Much of this horror movie plot will seem familiar but some rewarding payoffs make it worth watching.

In Sinister, Ethan Hawke develops a dangerous obsession with old 8mm films that he finds in the attic. Paramount Pictures
In Sinister, Ethan Hawke develops a dangerous obsession with old 8mm films that he finds in the attic. Paramount Pictures

Director: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone
***

At first glance, everything about this horror movie seems a bit familiar. Not for the first time, Ethan Hawke plays a frustrated author struggling to follow up a hit novel.

Like so many films of its genre, it begins with a family moving to a remote house surrounded by trees. Their reluctance to relocate is compounded as they gradually learn that the place has been the site of horrifying events.

After discovering a box of 8mm film in the attic labelled "Home Movies", the writer develops a dangerous obsession with the macabre happenings, which puts his family at risk.

The film follows a well-trodden path, yet a handful of strong performances, rewarding payoffs and moments of genuine terror make this a journey worth taking.