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Sinister
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Sinister More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

the real spoiler ending...

9/10
Author: katzenbob from Germany
4 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

the person behind the bughuul-murders is professor jonas (vincent d'onofrio) and presumably jessica, the woman who brings him the drink in one of the videochat conversations with ellison oswalt... in the second videochat with ellison (shortly before this film sequence starts) jonas' account is shown in the ICHAT "bonjour" section - which practically means he is in the SAME local network as ellison (means in the same house)...pause your DVD player to see it... so you can make a guess who is behind the killings of the families... in the last scene, we see bughuul with quite long black hair, a haircut not unlike the haircut of aforementioned jessica... by the way, an awesome movie... very open for interpretations (how is the involvement of the police, what is done by possible helpers of professor jonas and what is from ellisons mind playing tricks on him, what is real and what is dream time, are the people ellinson is seeing only in his mind) and therefore comparable to classics as "the shining"... 

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Appealed to the Child in me...

8/10
Author: Audie Armorer from winchester springs
4 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Enjoyed this film enough to write this quick review. This film was well directed,and has fast edits for suspense but with good lighting & style it turns into constant suspense to watch & not miss anything!!. Soundtrack and music set the mood and kept me glued to look for more visual clues. The best of all the scenes and structure i enjoyed where the old films'amateur style' sequences. Was worried 'Mother' wasn't working in the beginning of the movie but the rage and exit was well done and appreciated . Good steady suspense. I would recommend this for the cold,overcast winter day or evening where a good scare wouldn't hurt anyone and start the snuggling ...;-) Kudos!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A truly 'Sinister' film.

9/10
Author: Guywhelon from London
3 January 2014

I found 'Sinister' to be impacting on the viewer, dark and it also required the viewer to do some thinking. To start off, the film doesn't go straight into pop up scares as others do. But it does what all good horrors do: it built suspense, it made the viewer be on the edge of their seat for the whole duration but and it made them wonder. It's a hard thing to do to make someone scared by a film but still want to watch more, to want to know what's going to happen; this is a powerful attribute Sinister obtains. I found the plot of the film very gripping and original in its own way. I think the acting is excellent in this film, as the main character is almost perfectly portrayed the fear and emotions someone would feel in that situation. If there was one particular seen I thought was most effective it would have to be the scene in the hallway with the box; I found this seen made the blood really flow. Also after the so called 'pop-up' had happened the audience were still gripped with what was going to happen next. As for the 'ghoul' of the film, 'Baghuul' I found that the scene with the photograph of the bush really shocked the audience. However, I must say that the desirable trait about him is not seeing him close up; this is what makes him intimidating, fearsome and terrifying. My one criticism of the film is that it's scarier to see him in the bush than in the attic. The attic scene gives the audience a cheap scare, whereas the bush scene gives the audience a feel of bloodcurdling dread. Other than this, the scene was one of the best horrors I've ever seen. It was well-acted with a good plot, spooky lighting and an excellent villain!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Truly Sinister Movie

9/10
Author: smiller1995 from United States
30 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have seen quite a few horror movies over the past decade. Very few to none of them actually presented me with any true horror. Horror movies are fun and enjoyable, but for me it does not really go beyond that. Sinister was different though. I can remember a distinct feeling of fear after finishing the movie for the first time.

The murder films in Sinister were dark to say the least. This was due to the combination of the music and the style in which they were presented. I thought it was pretty brilliant the way the films started out with a happy family and then suddenly shifted to a gruesome murder scene.

The films brought me a sense of feat in themselves, but this was definitely added upon by Hawke's reaction to the films. As a crime writer he is both horrified, yet taken by the films. As Hawke gains an obsession with these films, he progressively slips into a deep and dark place. Witnessing Hawke slip into this evilness brings a sense of emotional darkness to the audience.

Ill admit that there were quite a few plot holes in the movie and the ending was very predictable. I was able to overlook most of these aspects though due to what the film was able to accomplish. I also believe that not answering osme of the open ended questions was a plus for the movie. It leaves a great deal up to the imagination of the viewer. The imagination can evoke a much greater sense of fear than anything shown on a screen.

Sinister was a truly horrifying and unique movie. Definitely one of the best horror films of the last few years.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I was surprised about how good this movie actually was

8/10
Author: ironmaidenrules2000 from Sweden
30 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I never went to see this when it hit the theaters here in Sweden. But when i finally watched,i regretted that. This is the kind of movie you should watch on the big screen. Or at least on a big screen with a good home theater system because of the creepy music. I thought it would be just another mediocre horror movie from this century but i was surprised. It takes its time for us to understand the plot,which is good. And when we got to see the old movies it was very creepy and scary. The scary face in the pool almost made me sh*t bricks. There is really only one thing i can complain about,and that is the makeup on the children. They looked like dalmatian dogs in the face and that really bummed me out. They should have made them look really pale and with deep and dark eyes,that would have been way more scary. Other than that,its a pretty solid movie. The acting is really good,the plot is well made and i really liked the ending. So if you are looking for a well made,scary movie this is it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

You can never explain something like this!

8/10
Author: kapelusznik18 from United States
25 December 2013

***SPOILERS*** Down on his luck and deep in debt crime writer Ellison Oswalt, Ethan Hawke, should have heeded the town sheriff's, played by "Big" Fred Thompson, advice and check out of the house he bought before it's too late for both him and his family. Oswalt smelling a block buster book deal, the true crime story he was planning to write, stayed and was soon to face the dire consequences of his actions. It's when Oswalt found a box of developed 8mm. film canisters together with a 1960's Bell & Howell projector to play them with that his troubles were soon to begin. And they didn't end until he and his family members ended up dead together with him!

The film canisters reviled a series of horrific murders that spanned some 40 years and killed some dozen victims. What shocked Oswalt more then anything else's about these films was who in fact filmed these events! And was the person who filmed them the one who committed them as well? By the time that Oswalt found out the truth he and his family were to become the killers next victims!

****SPOILERS*** The unknown killer left a calling card to every one of his crimes and even used one of the family members to do the ghastly work for him. It wasn't until Oswalt contacted Prof. Jonas, Vincent D'Onofrio, that he realized just what he was up against. An ancient Babylonian devil who was somehow conjured up by one of the person he ended up killing. Now with the cat or devil out of the bag there's no telling how many more victims this devil, called Bughuul or The Boogie Man, will rack up before his teats for human blood is finally satisfied. And it's poor Ellison Oswalt & family that are to be his next meal of burnt offering!

P.S The film "Sinster" was made despite its's top cast for a measly $3,000,000.00 and within two months made close to $50,000,000.00 in just box office receipts alone! That's more the 15 times as much as it cost to make! Something films now a days with far far bigger budgets never even come close to making!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Best Horror Movie Ever Made. Period.

9/10
Author: Tristan Detwiler from United States
21 December 2013

Plot: A family has just moved into the home of a recent crime scene. The husband, who is an author, plans on getting an idea for his new novel. What he does get are actually five Super 8 mm film reels showing families being murdered. In each case, there was the involvement of an unknown entity called Bughuul, or as called by the children "Mr. Boogie". The whole idea is that Bughuul is a Pagan Devil who lives in drawings, images, video, etc. He can only be brought out through those images. And that's the point of the these film negatives: to keep him alive... but why? Bughuul apparently feeds off of children. Children are especially vulnerable. That's why in every murder case in the movie, one of the children was missing.

I am getting ahead of myself, but the plot was set-up perfectly, it doesn't go too fast, and it doesn't go too slow. It's at just the right pace, introducing character traits and motivations. As the writer keeps going on delving into these murder mysteries, you can slowly see his personality change. It's not a major aspect of the film, but it is noticeable.

I should note that the Film reel footage is treated like those Find the Hidden Object images; you know, there ones where you have to go back and look at them closely to notice the thing in the picture that makes it stand out. That's what happens in these recordings... Characters:

Ethan Hawke plays an author who is on the verge of getting an idea for his new novel. He moves into the home of a recent crime scene to get more insight on the case. He's a very purpose-driven character; he wants to do all that he can to do it right. He spend hours getting as much information as he can about these 8mm Film reels he finds. His wife is the standard house wife and mother figure, but she does have her moments of being open and seeming caring about her husband's work. The children or more or less throw-aways, except for... wait, what am I saying? They're BOTH important to the plot. One of them is the false-prediction trigger and the other is... eh, I won't give it away.

Visuals:

Again, very disturbing imagery in this movie. The deaths these families encounter is stuff you would never want to have to face. The creature featured in the movie is also very disturbing. Bughuul, or Mr. Boogie, is one of the freakiest designs for any horror character I've ever seen. He is literally the stuff of nightmares. The point is, they did an amazing job with the make-up. Some of the best I've ever seen in any movie.

Sound:

The music is very eerie and sets the tone for the scenes well. When the 8mm Camera is panning around a sickening scene, the music has a very disturbing or even haunted feeling. This is also enhanced by good use of sound effects. I won't spoil anything for you, but I'll just say... half the movie is the audio.

Rewatchability:

This is the best horror movie I've ever seen. I luckily got to see it at midnight in the theater... and man-o-man was it scary. I couldn't walk outside my house for a couple days without being very cautious and look about everywhere. I'd say buy it on Blu-ray or DVD. This is a must-see for any movie or horror movie fanatic.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Creepy little film

6/10
Author: Ric-7 from New Orleans LA
19 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a good example of the "Boo!" horror film, which uses sudden loud noises to scare the audience. Once or twice is fine with me, but this film depended on it.

I thought the film was decent, but not terrific. The set up was both interesting and creepy. But a film in which the main character is a writer of unsolved crime nonfiction, it should not have taken the length of this film for even a partially intuitive person to figure out what was going on. Especially since most of the audience knew what was going to happen by no more than half way through.

I would have been more interested to see how the protagonist deals with an inescapable fate: does he provoke the end by leaving the haunted house, or is he trapped there forever? Of course, in most horror films you can't ask why the main character did not take the action that any sane person would take. For example, turning over the films to the police. He didn't take that action because that would have ended the film about ten minutes after it began.

This will be a good film to watch on TV at home late at night. It will probably scare you, but if it doesn't and you doze off, it will wake you up before long. Boo!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Home Movies with Ethan Hawke

7/10
Author: Rodney Gambrel from United States
11 October 2012

Home movies will never be the same for me after watching the advanced screening of the new horror film "Sinister". It all starts when a true-crime writer (Ethan Hawke) moves his family into the house where the former tenants were murdered. Talk about inspiration.

The story unfolds into a twisted tale that is sure to please most any fan of the horror genre. Ethan Hawke's performance is top-notch and the humor offsets the horror just enough, that as soon as you relax, you're flinching in your seat again.

Overall, I enjoyed the suspense, humor, and creepy visuals that this film delivered and would recommend it to any guy looking to get his arm held tightly by his date.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

It's easy to see why "Sinister" (2012) came so highly recommended; this is a startlingly scary horror movie.

8/10
Author: ericrnolan from United States
10 August 2015

It's easy to see why "Sinister" (2012) came so highly recommended; this is a startlingly scary horror movie to which I'd give an 8 out of 10. I was tempted to give it a 9, but some subjective personal tastes prevent me from giving this unusually disturbing film a higher rating.

It's frightening. The design of the supernatural Big Bad is quite good, despite its simplicity. This film succeeds in giving us an intimidating bogeyman. Far worse is his choice of victims and his modus operandi. I won't say much here this is a movie where we learn about the story's antagonist because the protagonist is an investigator — true-crime writer "Ellison Oswalt," wonderfully played by Ethan Hawke. I also won't go into precisely how the baddie operates, because it's just a little too dark to contemplate here.

It's shot and scripted quite well there are a number of nice touches, and the basic story is unsettling even by horror movie standards. A late twist about how the violence is perpetrated is telegraphed in advance, but it still gets under your skin. The directing by Scott Derrickson is spot on — the "jump moments" are cheap, but they still work. Derrickson's and C. Robert Cargill's script is smartly unnerving — especially with respect to how these crimes are perpetrated. (Yeesh.) And the use of unusual and disturbing music is quite effective. This film was the result of a lot of thought and effort.

Still, a few things suggested to me that this falls short of being a perfect horror movie:

1) Common tropes abound. The most tired, to me, was the use of a horror writer as an ironic protagonist. That's an overused device. The master himself, Stephen King, for example, has used this in no fewer than four novels and their subsequent film treatments, by my count. (Yes, Hawke here is a nonfiction writer instead of a novelist, but the principle is the same.)

2) Hawke's protagonist, as scripted, is pretty damned unlikable. "Deputy So-and-So" is his most important source, not to mention someone who shows him compassion when things get really tough. Yet he sticks with that insulting appellation, and even screens his calls, throughout the entire movie.

3) The bestselling nonfiction writer here has no idea how to cultivate a source. (See above.) I've been a writer, in some capacity, for my entire adult life, and I started out as a paper jockey. You treat every source as important, even the crazy ones. It's both good manners and proper professional conduct. And when you deal with any police officer, you're especially conscientious if you're smart — people in law enforcement are often (understandably) very sensitive about how they are portrayed in writing.

4) Ellison the need to move into a home where a multiple homicide was committed, in order to write about the crime? That's just nuts, even by eccentric writer standards.

5) He chooses not to tell his wife? I have never been married, but I know from both my personal and professional life that women get really, really ticked off when you neglect to tell them things that they think are important.

6) Is Oswalt's wife a Luddite who never googles anything? I moved to Virginia a year ago, and I STILL google my address because I keep forgetting my zip code.

7) Oswalt expects no neighbors to share such information with his wife? (This is lampshaded a bit, as a child brings home the information from his school.)

Finally, there is one subjective matter that kept me from loving this movie — and it is admittedly a matter of taste. Even as a devoted lover of dark stories, my enjoyment is sometimes affected by films in which children are victimized. (I am referring here to the children depicted in the 8 MM ("Super 8″) film strips that are discovered by the main character.)

Yes, these are horror movies, and they are intended for adults, and we ourselves should be adult enough to recognize fiction as such. (Otherwise we can buy a different ticket or click elsewhere among Netflix' options.) And plenty of great horror films feature imperiled children. "28 Weeks Later" (2007) immediately springs to mind for me, probably because it is a favorite. I think most other genre devotees would point to the universally recognized "The Exorcist" (1973). But in those films and most others, things were depicted differently. (I'm being vague here for fear of spoilers all around.)

I'm a veteran horror-hound; I've routinely enjoyed films in which zombies or vampires wipe out humanity. But what I saw in "Sinister" was too dark even for my taste. This sort of reaction is rare on my part, but not unprecedented. "The Devil's Rejects" (2005) and "Wolf Creek" (2005) both took violence against the innocent too far for me to really enjoy or recommend them. (Strangely, 1980's legendary "Cannibal Holocaust" affected me little.) Yes, zombie apocalypses tend to be gory affairs, but they are almost always faced by grownups, who are unbound, and armed, and generally able to fight back.

I would really think twice recommending this to the casual film-goer without a spoilerish hint about its content. Your mileage may vary.

Hey if you really want a scary story, check out The Internet Movie Database's trivia section for "Sinister" after you see the movie. Read how the "Pool Party" scene was filmed. That's that's nuts. Nobody wants a director that committed. Somebody should have called OSHA. Seriously.

And here's a joke for you. Given the "Super 8″ films we see in this movie, wouldn't it be blackly funny if this film were sequel to Steven Spielberg's heartwarming "Super 8″ (2011)? It's all about the kids, right?

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