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n the past week, I have seen 2 movies; The Raven and Sinister. Of these movies, one really disappointed me and one surprised me on how much I didn’t hate it. If you thought I hated Sinister, you are surprisingly wrong. I took a brief nap during The Raven because it was so dull, wish I had slept through the whole thing. Shame on you John Cusack! Maybe I’ll tell that story another time.
I have been debating on seeing Sinister since it came out. There were mixed reviews all over the place that it was good or it was horrible. I had thought I missed out my chance in seeing it in the theaters when I noticed it was still playing when some friends and I decided to catch a movie. We walked out of that movie with a couple inside jokes about the demon and discussing how not bad it was.
The movie starts off with a family of four standing with nooses around their neck and bags over their head. Suddenly a tree branch is cut and the family is no longer standing. It was a little much to start the movie with, even for me. Elison Oswalt(Ethan Hawke) is a crime noveslist and has moved to this small Pennsylvania town in order to write his next book that revolves around that family and their missing child. The Oswalt famiy consists of Elison, his wife Tracy (Juliet Rylance) and their two children Trevor (Michael Hall D’Addario) and Ashley (Clare Foley). When the Sheriff greets the family as their moving in (it wasn’t a friendly visit) Tracy asks her husband if they’re living a couple houses down from a crime scene. Elison tells her no and he’s technically not lying. They’re living in the crime scene.
While the family is getting settled in, Elison notices a box that was left behind in the attic labeled “home movies”, but these aren’t VHS they’re super 8 movies. If you’re unfamiliar with those, it’s the ones that are on a reel and need a projector to watch them. Hoping that the films will give him some kind of clue to what happened to the missing child, he sits down and starts to watch them. What he finds is the hanging of the family that was featured in the beginning (named “hanging out ’11”) another family being burned to death “ BBQ ’79”, a family murdered in their sleep (“Sleepy Time ’98), a drowning (“Pool Party ’66”) and death by a lawn mower (“Lawn Work ’86”). While the film titles are clever in a sick way, the deaths on the film were gruesome at times and they all had a connection to them. Each family that died also had a missing child.
Elison thinks he’s on to something big, and keeps reviewing the film in case he missed something, and he did. Bugghul. He finds out from a college professor that Bugguhl is a Pagan deity that eats the souls of children and that pictures were the gateway into his world. Once you see him, it’s game over. The thing that bothered me about Bugghul was that he wasn’t all that scary or creepy and he didn’t have a mouth! How do you eat without a mouth?!
What also disappointed me about the movie is how long it took for Elison to figure out who this guy was and the build up to the climax. The movie is full of typical and played out “easy scares”, which consist of dark shadows and things popping out of nowhere to startle you. What I liked about the movie was that even though, yes there was a bit of blood and graphic deaths, the movie didn’t rest on that. It had a decent plot, great acting and an ending that I didn’t see coming (and really enjoyed). If you’re wondering what happens to the Oswalts, you’ll have to watch the movie but go in with low expectations, it will allow you to actually enjoy the film.
Written by Katie Sperduti