Once upon a time, there was a little movie called The Blair Witch Project that coughed up big scares and bigger box office returns. Thus the found-footage genre became legit. The genre (is it?) has produced some hit and misses, but so far it has thrived very well with horror and suspense. The appeal there is obvious; it allows the viewers to have that “OMG, did I just see what I saw?!” mimesis, having seen what seems like real footage. The intrinsic difficulty then of found footage films is that there’s added burden on the filmmakers to make the set-up feel real.
I must admit I got through several scenes by squinting my eyes. Mid-film I turned to D and said, “Nasi-stress ako sa pelikulang ito, ha.” It is a fun horror ride, yes. In fact, it really delivers some pretty disturbing images that linger long after you’ve left the theater. But the script also contains inconsistencies and illogical turns that often mar my enjoyment of scare flicks. Horror should have the smarts to keep things real, otherwise you have an incredulous audience going, “Now why the eff did he do just that?!”
As I said, Sinister is still a fun ride. Yes, the ending is predictable, but there are enough going on to keep you interested. And while the traditional horror tricks don’t deserve the screams they generate (shock for shock’s sake), the certain images in the found footage part are genuinely distressing.
Grab someone whom you’d wanna grab hold of (and vice versa) when you watch this.