There's something about these visuals. Bleached color is put to good use. It creates the opposite effect found in most contemporary horror flicks, which come off hot, immediate, instantly forgettable. This is cool and quiet and suggests a slow-burn story you can get comfy with -- exactly the type that really chills an audience rather than simply making people jump at loud noises. Between the palette and the way Ethan Hawke seems to feel at home with the script and his performance, I get the notion 'Sinister' might stand out, if just a bit.
Here's some of what I said after seeing the first trailer:
- And, perhaps most noteworthy, the premise actually clicks. That an evil entity connects via imagery (like in a film or video) and becomes one with the viewer of such media (a twist on the urban legend which was the basis for 'The Ring') is scary and, considering this is in fact a movie, it might cause a bit of giddy niggling fright in the back of the minds of kids in the audience who might sense the creeping signs and symptoms of early-onset demonic possession as the film progresses.
And a bit of what I thought of the first poster:
- The face on the wall is perhaps a bit cliché (scary, but we've seen this kind of thing in gobs of movies and graphic novels). However, the fact it's formed by 'ink drips' coming out of the girl's hand sets this element apart and gives it weight.
- You have to wonder about the girl. Who is she? What role does she play? Why does something that looks so wicked come from her? It's rare a horror movie poster intimates such subtleties of story.
- And, look closely at the lower right corner. There's a reel of film unspooled on the floor which syncs visually with the image on the wall, as if the ink that forms the evil entity's face flows into the film (or vice versa). ...Nice touch, thematic.
- The tagline: "Once you see him, nothing can save you" is kind of ho-hum yet stops you. There's something there. What does that mean? It's good.
- Someone was conscientious about designing this poster. That the movie is by the makers of 'Paranormal Activity' and 'Insidious' can't be ignored, either.
If you're interested I snipped some clips from a review by Jeremy Kirk, who caught 'Sinister' at SXSW.
Director Scott Derrickson couldn't be hotter, having written and directed 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' and written (with Paul Harris Boardman) the upcoming remake of 'Poltergeist'. Next, Derrickson is directing 'Two Eyes Staring', about the relationship between a girl and the ghost of her mother's twin, which will star Charlize Theron.
All things considered, 'Sinister' looks like one to catch.