Sinister, the latest film to be named from a ten-minute thesaurus-based marketing meeting, has been running some fairly tame TV spots recently. Ethan Hawke in various states of distress does not, I’m afraid, adequately sell your horror movie to me. Now Summit have released a red band trailer, the film marketing equivalent of a baby TV spot’s naughtier, swearier, emotionally troubled-ier older brother, to pack a meatier punch. Let’s see if it worked.
(Bear in mind this is all NSFW, so don’t watch the trailer/read the rest of the post if you haven’t yet passed your EBacc.)
There’s Ethan, in remarkably low light, looking distressed again, possibly at the fact that Classically Trained Actor Ethan Hawke has been reduced to starring in October-released horror B-movies that don’t even look that scary.
Ethan’s laptop appears to show Jigsaw, from the Saw films, which would make for a curious new direction for the franchise.
Or maybe it’s Ghostface, from the Scream films. Could this be a franchise mashup? If it is, I’m out now guys. Have we not learned the sobering lessons of Freddy vs Jason? Of Alien vs Predator? Of Sonic vs Mario at the Olympics?
OK, that appears to be a possessed girl convulsing out of a cardboard box screaming the death knells of a thousand tortured souls. That’s…well that’s…fine…would you look at that, I’ve suddenly noticed I’m completely alone in my house. That’s fine, too. BRB, just going to turn another light on.
OK, good, fine, now there’s a creepy infant girl covered in the blood, gesturing silence to her next hapless victim. No problem with that at all. I’m not one to be easily scared! You know I’m sure I had more lights in this house…
Ah, good, now we end on a family of four hung by the neck from a tree. Would you excuse me? I just need to go change my trousers, as this pair I’m wearing appears to be soaked in urine for some reason.
Well, now I’ve composed myself and spoken at length with all my immediate family to tell them I love them, I’m reluctantly impressed, in spite of the crap title. It remains to be seen whether Sinister truly will be able, as one testimonial puts it, “fuck up a lot of people”, but a trailer which manages to scare me into briefly mistrusting my own reflection is damn effective. It’s atmospheric and properly disturbing without containing a single line of dialogue. Amazing what a marketing team (and a capable editor) can do when allowed to show off to the grown ups.