Sinister Will Waste Your Life [review]

Runtime: 110 minutes. Amount of time spent festering over how that 110 minutes left me emptier than the Guardian Hashtag cafe: two days.

WARNING: *Spoilers all the way through, combined with my first and only cinematic rant*

Bad films are amazing. Without bad films we wouldn’t have Robocop or one of the 53 Puppet Master films. But they don’t lie to us. They come right up to us, lick our face and express their lack of grandeur. But Sinister. The Grand Duke of Lies. Sinister approached us with open arms and promises of so much. That intro, the handing bodies and grainy picture. The subtle taunting of the antagonist malevolently appearing in the corners of photographs. I got sucked in by that celluloid deceiver.

It started with so much promise
It started with so much promise

We’re talking 15-20 minutes of film here. Bating me into expectations far beyond Ethane Hawke’s reach. Then came the rest of the film, firing off 24 rounds of disappointment a second, obliterating all I’d come to hope for.

While you could give 110 reasons for it being this way, I’ll boil it down to five because Sinister has already wasted enough of your and my time.

1. What’s with all the effort?

According to later exposition, the demon ‘Bughuul’ used to kill enter families and take away one of their children. Sounds like standard, basic demon hijinks. So why does he now have to embark on an incredibly complex journey of waiting for a new family to move in to a house, taunt them with videos of the previous murder, wait for them to move out and then launch an attack at the new house? Surely, his old method of just offing the family was a bit quicker.

2. Super 8?

So, bafflingly, the demon has chosen to make his traditional route to gaining children’s souls unnecessarily complex by adding in the taunting and filming element. Being thousands of years old, I can understand him being behind the times with technology, but still. If he really wants to film this stuff, at what point did he decide on super 8 and when, exactly, is he going to upgrade to digital? Eventually he’ll come across a family with someone far too lazy/apathetic to set up the reel and actually watch his twisted home movies.

And people have short attention spans. Has he thought of that? Six second Vines are what he should be on by now.

Ethan Hawke being made to watch Sinister
Ethan Hawke being made to watch Sinister

3. That Kid’s kind of small for that axe

So he’s got the family under his control and lured the kid into doing his murderous bidding because, apparently, after centuries he can’t be bothered to do his own murdering any more. But really, the kid? Granted, the family are drugged, but am I really expected to believe this tiny child can muster the energy required to hack an entire family apart with an axe? Not speaking from experience, but that’s not going to be a simple task.

4. Jump scares

Just stop it. Just enough. tired of eithjer knowing a jump is comign. or that oh very clever fake jump scare where there isn’t a jump scare but they make you think there will be and then by the next one you think you’ve out smarted them and then there is a jump scare and it’s all very clever.

5. Mick Thompson

The kid goes backstage with Slipknot
The kid goes backstage with Slipknot

I was so glad, following seeing this film, to discover everyone else noticed that Mick from Slipknot turns out to be the bad guy. He may be tall, but he’s not exactly a threat. Except maybe to the airwaves.

To surmise, if you’ve considered watching this film, I can guarantee you, it isn’t a positive life decision.