Sinister Circle (2016)
Written By: JASR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director(s): Dorian Fernández-Moris
Writers(s): Adrián Ochoa
Producer(s): Dorian Fernández-Moris (Executive Producer / Producer), Nevenka Yanovich (Producer)
Date Released: October 1, 2019 (on Netlflix USA), October 8, 2016 (Peru)
Milene Vásquez as Fernanda
Matías Raygada as Julio
Attilia Boschetti as Rosa
Ismael Contreras as Sr. Quiroga
Hernán Romero as Dr. García
Claudia Dammert as Ursula
Marcello Rivera as Alejandro
Rating = 2.5/5 Graves
Juego Siniestro (2016), or Sinister Circle, follows Fernanda (Milene Vásquez) and her son Julio (Matías Raygada) as they travel from Mexico to Peru after hearing about a fire that involves her mother who is in a psychiatric hospital. Upon arriving in Fernanda’s old home, both she and her son start experiencing eerie sights. Fernanda later learns that the fire associated with her mother involves a more ominous origin than she thought.
In the first 15 minutes of the movie, we already see a bloody patient whose process of death is left in one’s imagination. While the way he died was not explicitly shown in the movie, one can already flinch from seeing so much blood and some hints of how his demise came about.
Other than that bloody scene, Juego Siniestro did not have so many disgusting and cringe-causing gore. However, expect the ending of the movie to be violently creepy.
The Grave Review
References from a movie’s earlier scenes, giving clarity and producing logical implications, are always a plus for me. Those kinds of references feel like a nudge from the director that there is a deeper answer than the simple one we heard before.
In this movie, we see that approach in the scene where Fernanda (Milene Vásquez) asks Rosa (Attilia Boschetti) what happened to her hand – firmly wrapped in a bandage. Rosa says that it was because of the fire, but later in the movie, we learn that anyone who touches the Ouija board aside from Ursula (Claudia Dammert) will have a rotten hand. What used to be so simple and mundane is now an essential element that clarifies the past and predicts the story’s future.
The scare scenes in this movie were quite typical: an empty swing swinging, sounds increasing, lights flickering, and doors moving. An example of this can be seen when Julio got out of bed after hearing a strange sound in the middle of the night. Like characters in many horror movies, this character continued to look where the eerie sound was coming from even though he already knew that he could be frightened. It feels that the director played safe by limiting most scary scenes to only the tried and tested styles. Nonetheless, Julio’s scene where he was roaming the empty hallways was quite reminiscent of our fears when we were younger.
Not all scare scenes were that typical though. The director also came up with some scenes that could bring you the chills.
The fact that the movie made many things mysterious at first reflects how much information and answers we may hear later on. The movie still prompts some questions though – such as how exactly Fernanda’s mother got involved in the whole thing. More than this, they could have improved on scene transitions and pacing. The movie felt slow and dragging – only for us to end up seeing a dull and predictable ending.
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