Usually the only thing that keeps me up at night are thoughts of work and the general horribleness of work and how much I hate my work. This is pretty much a nightly "keep me up" occurrence. Not that I am complaining. So happy to be gainfully employed. So happy to be helping rich people fulfill their need for more shit. It's really fulfilling.
So, I get pretty excited when it is something other than work that keeps me up. I'm talking horror people!!! The last film that kept me up all night was The Ring. God, that was many, many years ago. But I didn't sleep a wink. And I don't even think that The Ring is an especially great horror film. It makes no fucking sense. It stars Naomi Watts and some other Australian. It "insists" upon itself.
Sinister was directed by Scott Derrickson. Derrickson directed The Exorcism of Emily Rose, which was the little movie that could. Then, as the story usually goes, he got offered a chance at the big leagues. The Day the Earth Stood Still was his next film. Yes, that one you never saw with Keanu Reeves. I only mention this because after that shitty experience, Derrickson bounced back with this little gem. Sinister is the tale of an asshole "True Crime" author played by Ethan Hawke. If anyone was ever born to play an asshole True Crime author it is Hawke.
Hawke is desperate for a hit. He moves his family into a house where a terrible murder took place. A family was hung from the tree in the backyard. The only survivor, a little girl, has gone missing. Hawke moves his family into this fucking place to write his book and he doesn't even tell them the shit went down there! What an asshole.
Of course freaky deaky shit starts to happen. Hawke finds a box of Super 8 videos in the attic. The videos show the backyard murders, as well as some other horrible home invasion murders. Hawke, being the dick that he is, doesn't report this to the yokel police. Instead, he launches his own investigation. And when Ethan Hawke launches his own investigation, you things are going to get weird.
The home invasion genre is one of my favorites. It is also one of my biggest fears (besides Zombies). This film has some great creepy imagery, and some effective jump scares. The image of the family being hung in the back yard is hard to get out of your mind, which is why I was probably up for a few hours more than I should have been after seeing a film starring Ethan Hawke. Sinister is not the best horror film I have ever seen, but at least it is somewhat original. And that is all you can ask for now a days.