Watch: Ethan Hawke on how ambition breeds horror in ‘Sinister’

10.08.12 5 years ago 3 Comments

Not only is “Sinister” a superior, effectively creepy horror film, it also comes with a cautionary message: lose sight of what’s important, and bad things are sure to follow.

Unfortunately for Ethan Hawke’s character in “Sinister” – a down-on-his-luck true-crime novelist who moves his unsuspecting family into what could colloquially be labeled a “murder house” to research what he hopes will be his next bestseller – those “bad things” take the form of “Mr. Boogie,” a demonic entity whose role in a decades-long rash of unsolved murders is confirmed by a number of film reels documenting the horrific crimes.

“I’ve always felt that really top of the line B-movies, genre movies…whether it’s sci-fi, western, horror, whatever you’re doing…it has to operate on onerrickson (” level as, you know, the genre, and the other level as some kind of morality play,” said Hawke, sitting down with me last week to talk about the film. “And this one is very clearly, he lets out the demon by pursuing his own ambition.”

Of course, “Sinister”‘s relative sophistication wouldn’t mean much if it wasn’t a genuinely scary film to boot, but luckily director Scott Derrickson (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still”) maintains an ominious – dare I say, sinister – atmosphere throughout. Not that it has any effect on Hawke, who told me his involvement in the finished product precludes him from sharing in the audience’s horror.

“I’d be curious to know what it’s like doing a really big comedy, and whether the people who made it laugh, you know?” said Hawke. “I don’t get scared…I know exactly when the bat’s gonna come out of the closet, or whatever the hell it is, you know, [when] the scorpion’s gonna appear. I know all that stuff. So what I like doing is watching the audience and feeling them giving over to the story, you know? That’s more fun for me.”

Click on the video above to check out the rest of the interview, then let us know whether you’ll be seeing “Sinister” in the comments.

“Sinister” hits theaters this Friday.

Follow me on Twitter @HitFixChris

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