On the surface level, Sinister doesn’t sound so different from a million other haunted house films. Ethan Hawke stars as a writer who moves his family into a new home, in which the previous occupants were brutally murdered. When he stumbles upon a box of home movies in the attic, he begins to make some even more horrifying connections.

But when it comes to movies like these, it’s the execution that really counts, and based on the reviews we’ve read out of SXSW it sounds like Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) and first-time screenwriter C. Robert Cargill (a.k.a. AICN’s Massawyrm) know exactly what they’re doing. A new trailer has just hit the web, and it looks pretty damn spooky. Watch it after the jump.


[via First Showing]

The found-footage gimmick is getting really tired by now, but Sinister seems to wield it better than most. Indeed, the most disturbing moment in the trailer is the quick cut of the family hanging from a tree in one of the reels that Hawke’s character has come across.

Still, I might not have given Sinister much more notice if it weren’t for the excellent reviews. Criterion Cast raved that it could be “the best one yet” of the year’s crop of horror films, while Variety approvingly noted that “the scares are not just intense but unyielding.” The review that really caught my attention, however, was the one from First Showing. Their critic was so upset by Sinister that he initially believed he had disliked it — before coming around and rating it an 8 out of 10. Any movie that inspires such a passionate reaction in seasoned viewers is probably worth a peek.

Also starring Vincent D’Onofrio, Juliet RylanceClare Foley, and Michael Hall D’Addario, Sinister is scheduled to hit theaters October 5.

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