Sinister title

Tag line : Once You See Him, Nothing Can Save You!

SinisterTrue crime novelist Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke), moves his family into a new home, where a string of grisly murders took place some months previous. Ellison has fallen on hard times, and hasn't had a best selling book in years, and hopes his new novel, about the events in the house he's now living in, will put him back on the road to fame and fortune.

Discovering a box of old cine films and a projector up in the loft, he proceeds to go through them, only to find they appear to have been left there by the murderer and they contain the brutal killings of not only the last family to have lived there, but several other families over the years.

Realising that the house's previous occupants were victims of a serial killer, rather than turn the films over to the police, he decides to see if he can solve the case himself, believing that doing so will give him the best selling book he so desperately craves. But after a while he begins to suspect that the films were deliberately left there for him to find and that the killer is deliberately leaving him clues as to his identity. Also, the deeper he gets drawn into the images on the films, the more he begins to suspect that they're not in the house alone, and that moving there was all part of the killers plan.

A genuinely creepy film, that's bound to make you jump out of your seat. I was initially apprehensive about going to see this, owing to the fact it was produced by the makers of those god-awful "Paranormal Activity" films, but as the film got going found myself pleasantly surprised. Vincent D'Onforio (that guy out of "Law and Order" on TV) has a guest role as a university lecturer, who's trying to help him solve what the symbols are that the killer leaves behind, and I also thought James Ransone was good as the goofy Sheriff's Deputy, who starts off as a comic stooge, but as the film progresses, turns out to be a damnsite cleverer than we initially thought.

If you like "ghostly" films, then this one's definitely a must. Makes an excellent companion piece with "The Pact".

Overall Marks : 6.5/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "Evil Lies on the Other Side", "Have You Seen Him?".

  • The name of Ethan Hawkes character, Ellison Oswalt, was taken from the names of auther Harlan Ellison, and comedian Patton Oswalt.

  • The film's budget was $3,000,000.

  • Director Scott Derrickson also directed "Hellraiser : Inferno" and "The Exorcism of Emily Rose".

  • For the scene where the family are dumped into the swimming pool, they actually strapped the actors to the sunbeds and pushed them into the pool, rather than use dummies. However, they had divers in the pool with respirators who could get them out quickly.

  • Writer C Robert Cargill got the idea for the script following a nightmare he had after watching "The Ring" in which he dreamt he found a box of films, with a murder on each one.

  • Fred Dalton Thompson, who plays the Sheriff, is probably best known for playing the Chief District Attorney Arthur Beach in the TV series "Law & Order".

  • The Director said that the 1980 film "The Changeling" was one of the major influences on the making of this film.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

 
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Other recommendations.

The Pact

 

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