Sunday, February 10, 2013

Needs More Burlap Sack Doll Thingies

A horror movie heavily touting its use of burlap-made voodoo dolls, just SITTING on the shelf at a Kentucky used DVD shop, the same used DVD shop that held a clean and shiny copy of Tiptoes


Quick Plot: A goth-y looking dude (bearing an uncanny resemblance to Face Off judge Glenn Henntrick) sews himself an adorable little voodoo doll as its human representation takes a very naked bath elsewhere. Jerky Goth Guy then drowns his new toy, as elsewhere, our naked brunette does the same to herself.


On yet another side of town, a spacey career woman named Emily (typical) begins experiencing strange dreams primarily involving bugs and/or a very rotted corpse slowly being pushed towards her. Her slacker (yet surprisingly resourceful) brother Sam shows up to help, only to eventually discover these scares are the result of a fender bender with aforementioned Goth Guy, who the DMV reports to be a displaced New Orleans witch doctor.

Note to self: displaced New Orleans witch doctors are REALLY sensitive when it comes to car insurance.

That’s really all you need to know about Sinister, which consists of approximately 15 minutes of scattered dialogue and 80 more of instrumental music following characters as they walk, sometimes through ominous situations but more often through situations that are made to seem ominous through instrumental music. Writer/director Steve Sessions triple duties by composing the film’s score, a similar trifecta he accomplished with the more effective (but still 7/8th music) Dead Clowns. Sessions is clearly working with a next-to-nothing budget, and it’s certainly admirable that he’s found a way to focus on his filmmaking strengths and downplay some of his limitations. Unfortunately, It doesn’t quite translate into a compelling watch.

High Points
Sessions’ abilities as a composer are definitely the highlight of the film, even if he’s well-aware of that and therefore fills nearly the entire running time showing it off

Low Points
It says something about a movie when I forget the main character’s name...especially when it’s the same as mine

Lessons Learned
A herpatologist treats herpes, so if you don’t have ‘em, you don’t need one

When really weird things come your way, the best reaction you can have is to just stand there and stare

Psychics and witch doctors have something in common: they’re both kind of jerks

For the $1.99 I spent on Sinister knowing it was a shot-on-video cheapie, I’m not complaining. This is micro-budget indie horror filmmaking, and when you compare it to its peers (i.e., the painful Feeders or hilariously painful Deadly Little Christmas) it certainly looks fine. On the other hand, I have no desire to ever see it again, and if this music =  atmosphere style is Sessions’ only real trick, I don’t imagine myself seeking out more of his canon. Horror fans with an appreciation for low budget auteurs might find it worth a watch. I just wish it had more burlap doll thingies.


  1. I have a shortening question. Is a movie eligible if it's about a Thing like organism that starts off small but ends up huge?

  2. I make the rules around here! So hey, why not?!

  3. Every time I watch Face Off and they introduce Glenn I'm like HEEERE'S FROWNY! And they cut to him and he's frowning. He's either a huge douche or he's perpetually constipated.

    Dude thinks he's Stan Winston. He ain't Stan Winston, so I'm not sure why he's so stuck on himself...

  4. I saw him wandering the convention hall at the last HorrorHound. He looked even MORE frowny in person (though the food in that part of the country can lead to stomach problems).