Ethan Hawke gives “Sinister” his all, but he can’t overcome the weak script speckled with cheap horror conventions. I find it somewhat baffling to find horror films still retreading ground like “young girls in singsong voices being scary”. Even the most overused trope in the world can still be used creatively, but assembling a film purely out of them and not iterating on them in any form doesn’t make for an especially interesting film.
The plot is unnecessarily convoluted, with Ethan Hawke’s Ellison Osborne doing many things the harder way to let the plot develop is the most dramatic way possible. There’s literally a scene of him consulting a demon expert (strangely, he often consults people like local lawmen and demonic experts across different states, rather than simply Googling matters for himself).
The visuals are fairly interesting at times, eschewing jump scares often for milking found footage reels as long as possible, begging your eyes to scan and scan the frame looking for something wrong. The super 8 footage is done well.
The film is utterly boilerplate, in every single way, but Hawke’s charm and the relatively well-done Super 8 footage keep you somewhat interested.
I give it one and a half Super 8 reels, and a demonic consultation.