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Home | Film Review: Sinister (2011)

Film Review: Sinister (2011)


A refugee voodoo practitioner from New Orleans suddenly shows up in a local small town with a very large chip on his shoulder. A local girl named Emily is soon going to learn what kind of trouble can be caused simply by upsetting the already vol ital witch doctor.


Directed by: Steve Sessions
Starring: Donna Hamblin, Donny Versiga, Lucien Eisenach

“This house is not haunted! It’s……you!”

Steve Sessions Sinister starts off with a very old school vibe complete with lettering and camera angles that immediately make the viewer place the film in the 70’s. It is only after the main character Gerard Prewitt is introduced does the viewer realize that the film is actually set in modern times. Prewitt looks like every other kid that you see walking in and out of your local “gothic” mall outlet and he seems to be very quiet and very concentrated on what he is doing when he is first introduced.

What Prewitt is doing however is truly the devils work as the viewer is shown that he is actually working a “spell” on someone. In between the shots of Prewitt doing his spell a woman is introduced who is taking a bath which leads to a scene of gratuitous nudity very early in the film! Prewitt continues to do his spell and finally dunks a doll into a small bowl of water, this causes the woman who is taking a bath to start to drown. This sequence is very well filmed and is actually very shudder inducing. It is only after this sequence that the viewer is introduced to Emily who is the second main character in this exploitation nugget.

Emily is very successful and is in fact on her way up at her local office, all of this is shown while she is talking on her cellphone while driving. When Emily arrives home she finds that her brother Sam has decided to stop by. Sam invites Emily out for dinner but she declines saying that she is busy. Sam goes on his way and then the first night of events begins to happen.

First its objects moving, this is captured brilliantly in several chill inducing scenes. The first scene with this involves one of those artistic “pin sculptures” one used to find at stores in the mall. A ghostly presence presses against the pins and all of it is captured superbly by Sessions. That really about is the sum of Sinister except that each of the frights and tortures gets continually worse as the film plays out.

Steve Sessions has done a lot of independent horror films, one need only Google his name and see a list of some nuggets in the indie circuit. Sinister is his companies newest and definitely should be checked especially by those who are wanting to learn how to add drenching atmosphere to their own indie productions.

The score and fx for Sinister are also very well done adding to the entire old school atmosphere of the film. When Prewitt finally does speak (with the exception of when he is doing a spell) he is quite calm and sure of himself, Lucien Eisenach does a very good job with the character making him truly an unforgettable villain in the realms of horror.

Keeping with the old school vibe that has already been established in Sinister Steve Sessions starts to piece together a great story involving a mystery and several scenes that are actually pretty scary (the wheelchair bound skeleton nightmare was one of my personal favorites). Prewitt also doesn’t just mess with Emily as the viewer sees him also take care of a business man who literally bumps into him at the wrong time. Once again like in the spell sequence at the beginning of the film the moment is tension filled and the red stuff makes one of its limited appearances.

Eventually Sam and Emily do learn about Prewitt, but as the viewer might fear things might already be too late as even more old school genre elements are brought in for the viewer to enjoy…not limited to a pretty impressive serial killer zombie. Sessions even takes it to the limit with the ending of his movie. Sinister is exactly as the title suggest….a very nasty piece of indie horror, but the good kind of nasty like hot sauce.

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