Release Date: October 12, 2012
Plot Summary: A true crime novelist, in an attempt to restart his career, moves his family into a crime scene. Supernatural goings on soon start and things take a… Sinister turn. (Eh.Eh. Nudge. Nudge.)
Review: We have the complete opposite of last week’s review dear poppets. I’ve watched this movie five times, and it never gets old. This is how you pull off an atmospheric supernatural movie. Enough fawning, time to get to what makes it work.
The characters here are well rounded, and if not likable, then at the least understandable in their motivations. Ethan Hawke plays Ellison Oswalt, a writer trying to rekindle his 15 minutes of fame. Along for the ride are his wife Tracy (Juliet Rylance) and two kids. Tolerable child actors are few and far between, but Clare Foley and Michael Hall D’Addario (Ashley and Trevor) are not only believable, but actually likable.
Later on, after the spooks and bangs begin, Deputy So and So (James Ransome), an adorkable fan boy if there ever was one, gets dragged into the mess. Although, considering how bad the sequels supposed to be, this isn’t the worst he’s been in…
This brings me to my next point: atmosphere. This movie knows how to build a tense and creepy atmosphere, but knows to break it up on occasion. This isn’t to provide relief, but rather to heighten the tension, until every little thing makes you nervous. The music selection is especially great for this type of film. Christopher Young is the brilliantly demented mind behind the shrieks and ominous squishing noises that makes up the soundtrack.
Who is the supernatural monstrosity causing havoc? Meet Bughuul (Mr. Boogie to the kids): Babylonian deity, eater of children, strangely attractive.. Simple is often good when it comes to monster design, and Bughuul is as simple as it gets. Put a pale guy in a suit, give him that Goth rock hair, and watch as an army of fan girls stampede towards him. (Seriously, I question some of this fandom, and even I find him attractive) Played by Nick King ( stuntman and crew credits mostly), Bughuul just stands there and looks creepy, and it works.
If there is anything I feel doesn’t work, it would be the scenes with the ghost kids. They’re fine when being weird in the background, but jump scare scenes with them lose impact upon second viewings. In fact, a lot of the scares are a bit less effective, except the lawnmower scene. *Shiver* Do. Not. Want.
Highlights: Scenes between Ellison and Deputy So and So are quite humorous and make him a little more forgivable. Even if he seems glued to his sweater…
The murder tapes are genuinely terrifying and get under your skin. In particular, the one the film opens on and Lawn Work ’86.
Recommendation: Gore hounds and those looking for high paced action are best served by other films. If you have a taste for the supernatural and like atmospheric horror: buy the DVD, watch it on Netflix, or purchase it via Amazon Prime. Support goes a long way in this field.
Next week’s movie will also contain a character I find attractive but probably shouldn’t. For now, I’m off to try and hug Bughuul..
Gotta run, deity trying to kill me. Have a trailer for next week’s review..