Sinister, Scott Derrickson, 110mins (15)
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance
There are some worthy frights in this suspense horror, which begins in realistic fashion before edging into the paranormal.
Ethan Hawke plays a true-crime writer who's moved his family to a new house without letting on that it's a former crime scene.
What he finds in the attic is even more disturbing, a box of Super 8 home movies depicting a series of grisly murders, including a whole family hanged on the lawn outside. He knows he ought to go to the police, but he also knows he hasn't written a bestseller in 10 years, and this might just rejuvenate his flagging career...
Hawke gives good value as the spooked author, freaking himself out as much as his wife (Juliet Rylance) once the implications of his discovery hit home. There are echoes of The Shining in Scott Derrickson's vision of a writer slowly falling to pieces, and of childish revenants appearing in corridors, though one suspects it might have gripped tighter if the solution had been of this world rather than the other.
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
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