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Sinister: An update to the horror genre

By: Ben De LeonSpecial to The Chronicle

Due to the abundant clichés and increasing predictability that the horror movie genre has assumed in recent years, ‘Sinister’ was a movie that many doubted before it even hit the big screen. From the producers who brought you ‘Paranormal Activity’ and ‘Insidious’, ‘Sinister’ somehow took the all-too-common ghost movie and gave it a subtle reboot.

The movie follows Ellison Oswalt, a writer struggling to write his next big book after the end of his 15 minutes of fame. As a devoted crime author, Oswalt moves his family to a town in which a family was executed via hanging in their own back yard. The secret: he has actually moved them into the very house where the crime took place nine months earlier.

Upon moving in, the protagonist finds a box of Super 8 reels and a projector. Each reel is labeled with seemingly benign family events such as “Pool Party ’66,” “BBQ ’79” and “Family Hanging Out ’11.” As he learns upon viewing the footage, the titles are a darkly ironic homage to the ways in which the families are murdered. So begins Oswalt’s journey into solving the murders and writing the next best seller.

During investigation, Oswalt becomes involved in something far more “sinister” than a simple serial murder…

‘Sinister’ is a perfect combination of the cinema trinity: plot, acting and sound. The plot keeps the audience intrigued and has a nice build-up, but the climax of the film comes and goes rather quickly. The film is also riddled with some clichés that are just overused.

The actors do an excellent job in making you actually care about the characters.

Then there is the soundtrack, which definitely made the film. The music alone was enough to set the atmosphere for each scene and give you chills. Combined with the tension building up to each scare, it was perfect chemistry.

Please note that while this is a horror movie with some impressive scares, it does not focus on the actual villain of the movie. The film follows a man on the verge of a breakdown, struggling to make a comeback while juggling his lust of fame with his love for his suffering family. It is more of a drama than a horror movie.

While the movie does not earn a full five Stars, ‘Sinister’ is definitely worth seeing in theatres. Take some friends or your significant other (definitely don’t go alone), and enjoy the wonderfully rare, frightening experience that ‘Sinister’ has to offer. Just in time for Halloween, ‘Sinister’ is a must-see.

Argo: refreshingly realistic

Upright Citizens Brigade Leave Students Laughing