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Sinister
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Sinister More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Sinister

10/10
Author: MovieMadChrisB from United Kingdom
6 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This review contains spoilers.

Sinister is one of the best modern horror films I have come across. And like Paranormal Activity and Insidious before it, Sinister is an extremely creepy and spooky horror film. I have seen hundreds of horror films and I very rarely get unnerved by them, (mainly because they are clichéd or remakes), but Sinister was something different.

The story follows Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke), a true crime novelist, who has just moved homes with his family, to begin work on his new book about a missing child and her murdered family. He soon finds super 8 film stored in his attic and upon playing the found footage he reveals several gruesome murders. After watching the footage, Ellison starts to experience strange things happening in his new home. But unknown to the rest of Ellison's family, his new home is where one gruesome murders occurred.

This is not your typical clichéd horror film, from the very start of the film, there is an eerie atmosphere and and uneasy feeling, which only grows as the film plays out. The scare scenes are incredibly tense and unpredictable. The acting is amazing especially from Ethan Hawke, and the characters are portrayed brilliantly. It has a nice steady pace to it, as the story and characters are set up, until the scares begin.

Sinister is definitely my horror film of the year, it has a great script, an amazing cast, unique and unpredictable scares, and a gruesome ending. For horror fans this is a must see.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the best horror movies out there.....

8/10
Author: Arun Kumar from India
6 November 2017

There's only a few horror gems like this out there. The story, the characters, the creepy environment, the constant scares really made my day. There's not even a single moment in the movie where i was bored or had to say What the hell !! (In a negative way of course). The movie is so beautifully made that it will keep you on the verge of wanting more. Although wanting more doesn't mean you go ahead and watch Sinister 2 after this because the second part is very bad. Overall Sinister was a great.....wait.....an awesome movie experience.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Turn on some lights?

7/10
Author: SJ Staps from Netherlands
7 September 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

During the whole movie, Ethan always forgets to turn on a little bit of light. It is quite difficult to notice some scary figure when it's so damn dark. He also does not listen to his kids at all, hello?! - number one rule of being a father. Why see those film shots anyway? And call the cops or this university guy? The movie was reasonable good, but did not keep me thinking. I find the story disappointing, and plot could not have been worse. He did not even write the book. C'mon!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very well made modern day horror

8/10
Author: Davis P from United States
7 April 2017

This horror movie is one of the best I've ever seen. From the fantastic acting to the scary scenes that will genuinely creep you out, none of those cheap jump scares crap, I mean like actually being frightened. Baghoul is an evil spirit/presence in the movie, but he's not like a monster made of CGI effects that you see throughout the movie, you see his handiwork more than you actually see him, but in my opinion, his handiwork is much scarier than them actually showing you his face. Because to me what you make up in your own mind and your own imagination is scarier than them just showing you the thing you're supposed to be afraid of. They do use that method and it works wonderfully in this movie. The cast is very good and I loved all the performances. Ethan Hawke is a very talented actor, I've known that since Dead Poets Society when he was just starting out. He gives a very good performance as the writer father who begins to research this thing that has haunted and killed other innocents in the past. As he digs deeper and deeper the movie gets even more entertaining (and scarier). I suggest this movie to anyone who likes a very well-made horror movie. It is directed very well and it's evident that the writers knew exactly what they were doing. 8/10 for Sinister.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"Sinister" successfully reaches out to fans of classic and modern horror

8/10
Author: Movie_Muse_Reviews from IL, USA
2 February 2017

A true crime writer picks the wrong murder mystery for his next book in "Sinister," a horror movie that balances the contemporary horror movie formula with mystery thriller elements and a solid leading performance.

Ethan Hawke plays Ellison Oswalt, a successful writer who has just moved his family to a town in Pennsylvania where a family was found hung from a tree in the backyard except for the third child, who was reported missing. Unbeknownst to the rest of his family, Ellison has moved them into the exact house where the family was killed. In the attic, he finds a box with an 8mm film projector and a handful of film reels, all of which show families being murdered, including the case he's investigating. Ellison realizes he's on to something big, but eventually things take a supernatural turn.

If the film weren't titled "Sinister" (a title that seems to have been subjectively chosen for marketing purposes) and you went in without knowing anything, you might actually convince yourself you were watching an eerie true crime thriller and be a bit surprised to watch the film take a contemporary horror flick turn equipped with creepy ghost children, freaky old movies and a pagan deity.

"Sinister" straddles these two genres without disappointing fans that wanted one over the other, but might disappoint fans that enjoy one but don't like the other at all. Director Scott Derrickson ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose") uses classic suspense techniques and the creepy Super8 videos for that slow-building dread effect reminiscent of a more classic horror-thriller, while also employing the slow- walking-through-a-house-at-night-that-ends-in-a-jump-scare techniques of today's horror movies. The film predictably begins with more of the former and ends distinctly as the latter, and Derrickson oversees the passing of that baton and ensures it happens cohesively with strong, evocative visuals and an unusually creepy soundtrack.

C. Robert Cargill's story also allows these genres to function effectively together. Good horror movies show more interest and concern in the characters and how they deal with horrifying events than the horrifying events themselves. Cargill's script definitely focuses on Ellison, and the simple conceit of him being a writer who investigates murders puts him in a unique position among horror movie protagonists. Cargill adds the twist that Ellison has not had a best-seller in 10 years, so there's pressure on him to pursue this case in spite of the warning signs.

A strong lead character also appeals to a better caliber of actor, and Hawke lends so much legitimacy to this movie. Ellison is more accustomed to seeing disturbing things, so to watch Hawke's performance as this case gets more and more under his character's skin is a real added benefit. Hawke allows us to empathize with his character despite knowing full well that we would not have handled things the same way he does at various points in the film.

The ending has some issues along those lines and some information that seems obvious to the audience is not obvious to the characters, and that can be frustrating, but on the whole, "Sinister" leaves you with a jaw-dropper of an ending, a perfectly freaky culmination of all the classic suspense and minutes upon minutes of wondering when it's all going to blow up.

"Sinister" will more likely win over viewers who don't always like scary movies than it will avid scary movie watchers who love the genre precisely for its conventions and clichés, but it successfully reaches out to both.

~Steven C

Thanks for reading! Visit Movie Muse Reviews for more

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

brings the horror back into horror

8/10
Author: Nick Duguay from Texas
17 January 2017

One of the scariest horror movies I have seen in a long time. I put off watching this one for a quite a while because when I first started it I noticed it had dim lighting which is a pet peeve of mine. Once I decided to watch it at a later date however, I realized that the cinematographer actually made very effective use of light/dark contrasts, highlighting what we need to see and using the dark spaces to create a cloistering atmosphere of dread and claustrophobia. The performances are also very good, especially the lead, although I feel as though they could have given us more background on the rest of the family. Also the ending isn't what I expected at all and I feel there could have been more action but it did fit in with the rest of this movie which can be quite slow at times, but you hardly notice because of the way this film draws you into it's world. The super 8 sequences were terrifying, they had me on the edge of my seat. In my opinion Sinister is probably one of the best horror films of this decade.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Genuinely Scary

9/10
Author: lilliehardwick from Liverpool
27 December 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before watching this film I had heard very little about it, all I had been told was that it would make you very wary of younger children. So when I watched Sinster I was expecting something along the lines of insidious but this is far from it. One thing I like about it is that at first we are led to believe that there is definitely something wrong with the eldest child played by Michael Hall D'Addario as there is that very strange scene where he bursts out of a moving box. However, the finding of the projector and the home movies really sets this film apart from others. Ethan Hawke, who plays a author trying to break through the one hit wonder problem, lies to his family and tells them they are moving in to the house a few doors down to where a murder took place. This creates a sense of panic when he does discover the true horrors of the house and the supernatural being that haunts it because he can't tell his family, he has to try and deal with it by himself. This film has a very good story line and there are many places when you really jump out of your seat, but for me the best bit of the film has to be the finding and watching of the tapes because to watch something so gruesome and horrible and see that it is a child that is performing/carrying these deeds out really is sinister.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

it really scares

7/10
Author: goccukgurbaa from United States
5 November 2016

I like horror movies. They don't scare me much but I love the chilly feeling. Sinister is one of the most scary movies I've ever watched. I got so scared that I had to pause the movie and convinced myself that the scenes are not real several times. I had no idea if the movie is about a real world killer or a paranormal thing and you can't tell it in the first 30 minutes. I believe this part of the movie is the scariest one. In the rest of the movie, the story unfolds and you can predict the ending. So the scare level degrades. Nevertheless Sinister scares you until the ending. It's a good movie with good directing and acting and a mediocre story. I highly recommend it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the scariest horror films in years.

10/10
Author: lorcan-61881
5 October 2016

Sinister stars Ethan Hawke,Juliet Rylance and Fred Thompson. It tells the story about a crime writer who moves into a house with his wife and two children and one day when he goes up to attic he finds a box full of videos when he watches them,the movies are of family's dying. Soon then,strange things start to happen around his house and with his family when soon it's all leading up to one thing..a man from the snuff videos called the Boogeyman. Sinister honestly so god damn scary,I was terrified going to sleep when I saw this I just couldn't get it out of my head then it passed but I was still scared and I made a pact never to watch it again. The acting was good but the jump scares was terrifying as hell. I actually screamed when the boogeyman jumped out when Ethan Hawke walked up the attic and saw all the children watching the tapes. Sinister is a very very very scary horror mystery movie than definitely horror fans will like.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Nicely Creepy

8/10
Author: jacklmauro from United States
12 October 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Why all the disparagement here? Why the fierce objections to found footage once again used as a plot device? Virtually every device in all genres has been endlessly employed - what matters is if the film works, and this film works. Ethan Hawke is believable as the tortured author, and he thankfully does not overplay the angst card. The wife is a thankless role, but such wives in such movies usually are. The point is, the story unfolds at a nice pace, and the use of the footage is just downright chilling. I take 2 points off for the hero's failure to connect some fairly obvious dots, regarding his own children and the kids of the murdered families; seriously, the daughter's knowledge and painting of the missing Stephanie was a massive alert. Nonetheless, and while no work of art, 'Sinister' is an engaging and well-crafted horror flick. PS No happy ending here.

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