The Secret of Sinchanee is an ambitious film written by, directed by, and starring Steven Grayhm. Its story follows Will Stark as he works through traumas past and present. As a child he witnessed the double homicide of his mother and sister. In present day, he must confront his estranged father’s passing. As he settles his late dad’s affairs he begins to experience strange phenomena. Intertwined with his story is a police procedural wherein two previously entangled detectives work to solve a disappearance.

Grayhm provides a few tense moments. He really shines with more subtle background manipulations: an odd shadow here, a change in the snow there. These are the moments where the atmosphere was truly what one would hope for from this movie.

The mystery element is delightfully engaging as well. The detectives provide a nice device through which the audience learns of Will’s past. They appear in the story in a way that feels natural and unobtrusive.

However, the movie has a lot going on. Will’s mental health is in question by himself and everyone around him. The detectives have a complicated history. The titular secret of the Sinchanee is ultimately underwhelming.

Despite how many elements there are to the story, the film actually suffers from its nearly two hour runtime. With a more skillful editing, The Secret of Sinchanee could be a creepy mystery with just enough twists to keep it interesting. Instead we have a lot of meandering, repetitive flashbacks, and unnecessary embellishments that confuse the established lore.

Grayhm gets points for adding his own flourish to a well-known subgenre, but it didn’t quite do it for me. If you’re a fan of drama pieces with haunting elements, be sure to check it out for yourself on October 8.

1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5)