Ethan Hawke sure is loving genre films lately. Outside of working on almost anything directors Richard Linklater and Antoine Fuqua do, Hawke somehow stumbled into 2005's ill-advised remake of "Assault on Precinct 13" and 2010's vampires-curing-vampirism movie "Daybreakers," and has finally made his first straight horror film (outside of 1998's "The Newton Boys" – ZING!) with the upcoming "Sinister." That's not the most impressive run in genre films ever recorded, but considering Hawke has spent most of his career doing arthouse fare since debuting in Joe Dante's "Explorers," we're considering it a trend.
Directed by "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still" director Scott Derrickson, "Sinister" stars Hawke as a true-crime novelist who makes a huge mistake: moving into a house where a family was gruesomely murdered. Happens to the best of us! Once he discovers a box of old 8mm films of other murdered families in the attic, he thinks he may have found his next big story, until he soon realizes the mistake we mentioned earlier.
As for the source of all the death and destruction? A stinky, old, clown-faced Pagan entity named Bagul who lives in the photos and films that Hawke found! Ain't that a bitch! Worst thing about Bagul? Children are particularly vulnerable! Stupid Bagul!
You've got to hand it to the realtor though: convincing a family to move in to a house nine months after a whole family was brutally murdered there had to have won he/she that Cadillac El Dorado. Or at least the steak knives.
In all seriousness, "Sinister" looks like it could provide a legit scare or two — horror films are always more effective if they're acted well — and while "Sinister" isn't the first to sip from the "killer who lives in images" well, the concept hasn't exactly been exhausted. Film critic/screenwriter C. Robert Cargill seems to have provided a better than average script, and when "Sinister" opens on October 5th, can we ask for anything more in the season's horror fare than a potentially creepy time at the cinemas?
Just don't take Bagul back to your house!