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Sinister
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Sinister More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

One of the best movies I've seen in years!

10/10
Author: areadingwoman from United States
24 May 2015

I don't tend to give unqualified praise often, but this movie was amazing. It was wildly atmospheric right from the start and while the images/ideas were very disturbing, it was never too gross to watch (which is a big hang up for me - I shouldn't want to close my eyes while watching a movie). But do be warned that the ideas are truly disturbing. This is particularly true if the idea of family violence is bothersome to you (my husband, for example, won't watch anything where people have to see/hear loved ones die). If you can get past that, you will be well rewarded. Ethan Hawke is amazing in this film as he vacillates between washed up, downtrodden middle aged writer and hot on the trail of something big alcoholic. He is so captivating that at a certain point you actually forget/don't care about the possible danger he puts his family in. And that makes the climax all the more enjoyable. Furthermore, this is not a film that is full of those ridiculous moments that horror movies are typically known for. Characters in this movie make exactly the same choices that I would reasonably make in such a messed up situation. It was quite refreshing to not have to spend most of the movie thinking that the characters are going to get exactly what they deserve for being so dang stupid. In fact, the only real issue I saw in the film (and it did bug me a lot), is that the whole premise is that in their new home Hawke finds an old school (50s-60s) reel projector with home videos. Even as a 40 year old man, the odds of knowing how to so skillfully work the old projector (not to mention hand splice the film) is a bit out there. Particularly since he sows no penchant for film in his every day life as a character. But perhaps that's just a back story that was never written in. I was certainly willing to overlook it given how truly terrifying the rest of the film was. It was worth every minute.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not worth the time

3/10
Author: craigh01 from United States
21 March 2015

You can read the other reviews for more of a synopsis, I'll leave that out, other than to say it's kind of a mix of a supernatural thriller and one of those "found footage" movies.

The jump scares didn't scare me much. The story was flat, and they didn't make me care about the characters. Like most supernatural horror movies, the supernatural premise was just dumb. Well, for example, I liked Occulus, whose premise was that this mirror was haunted by a spirit. OK, it was dumb, but other parts of the movie made it fun to watch. But with Sinister, the supernatural premise was also dumb, but there was nothing else cool about it to make it fun to watch.

So, this movie has a dumb premise AND it was no fun to watch. If you want to be horrified by awful "found footage" murder scenes you might like it.

I was just waiting and waiting for something interesting to happen, and it never did. Near the end I figured out the supernatural basis of everything, and it was a real letdown.

A lot of scenes make no sense, I'm sure someone else will lay them out, I can't do it since I didn't check the "spoilers" check box.

Overall I got to the end and felt like I just wasted my time...

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Despite Hawke's superb performance and a few scary moments, most of Sinister relies on cheap jump-scares.

5/10
Author: Guillermo Bosque from Saltillo, México.
4 October 2014

Summary: Despite Hawke's superb performance and a few scary moments, most of Sinister relies on cheap jump-scares. 50/100 (C)

True-crime writer Ellison Oswalt moves himself and his family into a house where a horrific crime took place earlier, but his family doesn't know. He is trying to find out more about the crime so he can write a new book about it to help his flailing career. He uses some "snuff" film footage he finds in the house to help in his research, but he soon finds more than he bargained for. There is a figure in each of the films, but who or what is it? As a result, his family start to suffer (as does he), and things take a turn for the worse. Will they survive? Sinister is a horror film written and directed by Scott Derrickson, and well... I'm not a huge fan of his previous work.

The opening scene is awesome and looks realistic, but this little scene becomes quite tedious because is being constantly repeated throughout the film again and again, making it less effective. But the movie boasts an interesting story, also Ethan Hawke's performance was awesome and you can feel identified with his character. It has enough originality in some of the scares and it definitely stands out from other films of the genre. The special effects were generally good, except in a few scenes where lots of CGI were used on some crappy ghost-kids. The CGI scenes disgusted me so much, because the film doesn't need them at all.

What I really found interesting and clever, is the content of the Super 8 tapes, it's undoubtedly scary. Some scenes made me jump and they looked very realistic. It's pretty decent and the performances were very enjoyable, in spite of some awful child actors. It's also very sad to see Hawke's character, for some strange reason I felt sorry for him, he just wanted to write his book and be famous again. For me, the stars of the film are Hawke and Juliet Rylance, these two actors were very professional in the movie, they seem serious all time and I really enjoyed every conversation they had, all their fights, discussions, etc.

It has too much suspense at times and becomes boring. It's filled with a bunch of generic loud noises, cheap jump-scares and constant darkness. I've seen Sinister more than three times already: the first time I saw it by myself, the second time I saw it with my sister, and the last time I saw it alone... again. I really wanted to like it. Anyway, it's just not my type of horror film. I do not recommend Sinister for horror fans, it's very boring, the editing is horrible and its plot is cliché. On the upside, the script is solid at times, it has quality performances and some suspense. With all that, it creates a mildly frightening atmosphere.

I think that it has enough jump-scares and good performances to satisfy a big part of the clueless audience. Moving on, the last fifteen minutes are quite messy, while at times it kept the tension, nobody can rescue the film of being a total boredom. It became very explicit in its final act. Also, the last scare of the movie was silly and predictable. Sinister fails to convince and entertain. I'm a huge fan of Hawke but the movie doesn't deserve a positive review because it has lots of flaws, especially in its final act. I would like to see less of the villain (Mr. Boogie) in the film, unfortunately they showed way too much of him and became less scary.

As I said, the acting was great, Ethan Hawke and the charismatic British actress Juliet Rylance were excellent. The script is mostly solid, the content of the Super 8 tapes is very disturbing, and there were a few scary moments in the movie. I recommend it if you expect great performances or if you get scared easily. On the downside: all the suspense built up throughout the film falls flat at the end, the performances of some "ghost" children were awful and some of the actions of the characters were somewhat stupid. So, if you want an entertaining, memorable and well-executed horror movie, Sinister is not your best choice. (C)

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Sinister!

6/10
Author: toni-cooke18 from United Kingdom
28 February 2014

I'm new to watching horror movies and I thought I would give this a shot!

Well I am utterly creeped out.

The incorporation of mythology into the film helped steer it away from normal horror movie clichés.

I liked the fact that you had to wait until the very end to know what was actually going on .. I was not able to guess the plot half way through as in most horror movies.

The imagery used was scary and I jumped out of my seat a number of times. The music built suspense throughout. The ending has me so freaked out I am too scared to go upstairs to the bathroom!

But hey I am a wimp.

I did find the film a little long and was willing it to be over towards the end. I can imagine this would be very popular in a cinema setting as it had some very heart-stopping/jumpy moments.

I do not recommend watching alone, in a lonely house, at night, on your own. Did I mention I'm all alone?!?!

I gave it a 6, the story was clever, but for me personally I was a wreck throughout!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Definitely Worth Seeing

9/10
Author: Eric Matthias from United States
26 February 2014

I've always been a fan of the horror genre, but it seems like these days horror films are too contrived. So I'm always on the lookout for something with a little more character. I had heard promising things about this movie so I was very eager to sit down and watch it. I'm not gonna bother giving a synopsis or a plot summary since that's already available on IMDb but I will say that I really liked the storyline. Sure, it's not the most incredible plot ever written, but it's engaging enough. For those of you who are wondering why I gave this movie a 9, allow me to explain. I typically rate movies according to their genres, and intended reactions. In this case, the purpose of a horror film is to scare the crap out of people. I personally felt this film did a great job in the scare department. This movie not only feels solid because of its plot, but also because of Ethan Hawke's acting. Seriously, this dude brought so much personality to the role. This movie wouldn't be half of what it is without him. Overall: if you're a horror fan this movie is worth seeing.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

One of the best you'll ever watch

10/10
Author: Mike Justesen from Denmark
12 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, not knowing anything about this film, will give the best results upon watching this fantastic movie for the first time. And yes, by first time, I mean you'll need to watch it more than once.

If you know what this film is about, you're not completely out of luck, because the elements in this movie is made out so fantastic, that it'll blow your mind.

Why will it blow your mind? Well, it's mysterious as hell. You'll follow the main characters and participate in the guessing game. What happened there? Who did that? Why did that happen? You'll simply take part in the big mystery that unfolds, either with friends, or in your head. That's a thing, Sinister does well.

Also, the screamers and gore are fantastic. Some is a bit predictable, though. But other than that, you'll be a part of a big mind bender and Sinister is a movie, I'll recondmend. Also, if you consider buying it, go for the Blu Ray version.

Enjoy one of horror movies best films.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Extremely scary film! Very well done!

10/10
Author: wellsland from United States
15 January 2014

I went into this movie not knowing what it was really about, but thought the trailer looked quite interesting. Having just finished the movie, I have to say that this is one of the most terrifying movies I've seen in a long time! Everything from the acting, to the environments, to the ambiance/ sound was just absolutely great! There were several times throughout the film that I felt true terror. Some good jumps, but most of all just an overall sense of uneasiness and horror. I wouldn't want to spoil this movie for anyone so I will keep it short and just say that I highly recommend you it! If you can handle a little bit of scary it's definitely worth watching! I recommend watching it with a friend or family member so that you can both be scared together, but at least have each other. And I can imagine this would be a good one to talk about.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Quite thrilling and enjoyable supernatural offering

9/10
Author: GL84 from Los Angeles, Ca
9 January 2014

Moving into a new house to get in a proper head-space for his next book, a writer and his family find themselves under attack by a strange serial killer that struck previous families in the house and that in fighting him may be more difficult than imagined when he finds out it may not be human.

This here turned out to be quite decent for the most part and really above-average at times. The main thing that really hurts this one is the fact that there's just so much time going by of fiddling with the cameras and not doing much of anything here. The build-up takes far too long to get going that there's an air of boredom at times when it's just him by himself viewing the tapes, and while it does focus on the creepy images at the appropriate times the fact that there's no other true scare-inspiring device in the film beyond the home movies tends to make the whole thing go into repeat especially with the spousal arguments that continually creep up and knock this one down a bit for the feeling of extending the length because it has to. That said, there's a lot to like elsewhere in here as the tapes do get progressively creepier and creepier with their rather haunting and hypnotic images, managing to make them feel like true voyeur pieces despite the heinous actions being committed and there's a real sense of enjoyment it gets from this feeling that's quite contagious at times. The spill-over into real life with the assaults on the family make for quite a creepy telling, and the final half is just insanely good with a lot to really like there with the revelation of the murders, the crime spree in the house and the final twist which is quite good. Coupled with one of the more inventive and genuinely creepy monsters that's actually helped by his back-story and there's a lot of good stuff here to overcome the few flaws.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and extreme amounts of screen-time with children-in-jeopardy.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Excellent

10/10
Author: Jade McPherson from United Kingdom
26 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Great film truly. I have watched a lot of horror films and this is one of my absolute favourites. The plot is gripping and tension building. Watching the film for the first time, I was worried about the 'murder tapes', however they are not bloody at all, although they are very disturbing - some are very creative. Also the music played during some of the murders is really creepy and haunting - some may find it disturbing.

The plot has a really good twist and not what I was expecting. I thought that being in the house was the last place to be but as it turned out it was moving out of the house that triggered the cycle so it is really unexpected.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Wild Roller-coaster Ride

8/10
Author: s.savage from USA
20 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I always have to put a disclaimer in front of a review because there is always some joker out there who likes to argue taste which I find annoying.First of all I find this movie a truly well made movie. There wasn't much fanfare when it was released. It was a real sleeper that packed a nasty punch. Like a Stephen King story on steroids. Refreshing that it's not as gory as some of it's contemporaries. It tells us a simple story that seems almost too familiar. It's like you know what's coming next but it still manages to scare the hell out of you. A good date movie if you're date wants to hold you close.This would rank in my personal top 25 list hands down.

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