IT isn’t every day that we see Ethan Hawke in a horror movie. This week, Hawke headlines a genre flick that benefit not only from his stellar appeal, but also from his thespic acumen.
In “Sinister,” Hawke plays hack crime novelist, Ellison Oswalt, whose quest for legitimacy drives him to relocate his family to a house whose former residents died from a grisly mass hanging.
As he digs deeper into the unresolved massacre, an enthusiastic police investigator (James Ransone) and a box of Super 8 home movies suggest that the victims’ deaths were caused by something more sinister—and supernatural—a deadly, ritualistic force that has taken the lives of four other families since 1966! Is El willing to put his wife (Juliet Rylance) and kids (Michael Hall D’Addario, Clare Foley) in harm’s way in exchange for his rare shot at fame and fortune?
Director Scott Derrickson uses music and eerie sounds to create an atmosphere of creepy foreboding as the narrative “organically” eases into its stomach-churning finale.
The ghoulish images onscreen are further magnified by the moral dilemma that tears Hawke’s character apart. The actor is so good at depicting fear that he’ll freak you out just by seeing how scared he is!