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Sinister (2012) Poster

(I) (2012)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (3) | Character error (2) | Continuity (9) | Factual errors (4) | Miscellaneous (1) | Plot holes (1) | Revealing mistakes (5) | Spoilers (1)

Anachronisms 

(at around 32 mins) Items, products and family belongings seen in the super 8 home movies often weren't available in the decades that the home movies are set in. Most notably is the kitchen refrigerator seen in the 1998 'Sleepytime' home movie reel - the model of fridge shown in the home movie wasn't available commercially until 2009-2010.
(at around 1h 40 mins) When Ashley has the Bughuul's super-8 camera in her hands, it is a Pro8mm camera. Pro8mm's cameras are hybrid cameras, usually Beaulieu versions, from the 1990's onward. It is stated that the Bughuul has been using the same camera since 1966, but the kind of camera Ashley is holding was designed in the 21st century so this wouldn't be possible.
Just for the record: all the films on the reels shown are STANDARD 8mm and NOT Super 8mm as incorrectly identified in the narrative. The splicing kit used is also for the STANDARD 8mm format. The film projector featured is also a STANDARD 8mm machine. But the movie camera shown at the end of the film looks very much like a Bolex Super 8mm camera that were very popular in the 1970s/80s.
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Character error 

(at around 29 mins) Ellison states in the movie that 8mm film was invented in 1966 by Kodak Inc. but this is incorrect. 8mm film was invented in 1932 for home movies. Super-8 film (the film type actually used to film the murders in the movie, not 8mm contrary to Ellison's statements), was invented and sold for home use in 1965, a year before 1966. There was no type of film invented in 1966.
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(at around 52 mins) The Deputy clearly states the street address of the Ramirez family as being on Dillington Street, but the author writes Billington on his notepad.
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Continuity 

(at around 4 mins) Near the beginning of the film, we see Ashley painting a girl in red on the wall. We see that Ashley has painted the girl fully in red, however, in the next shot we see that the girl has a white space where the red paint was before.
(at around 14 mins) When Ellison first watches the film of the family playing in the back yard, some of the clips are missing the wooden steps nailed to the opposite side of the tree.
(at around 14 mins) When watching the film of the family that was hung the tree is already missing the branch that was cut to hang them with.
(at around 34 mins) When printing out the picture of the symbol the computer says "printing 2 items" when it was only told to print one. Also, when the printer prints the picture, only one paper comes out.
(at around 50 mins) When Ellison watches the BBQ '79 film on his computer, after filming it with a digital camera, the clip of Bughuul seen in the window is longer than what it was when Ellison first watched the original film (at around 20 mins) .
(at around 16 mins) When Ellison first watches the film of the family being hung, Bughuul does not appear in the bushes but he does later on when Ellison watches it on his computer and prints it out (at around 49 mins).
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(at around 1 min) In the very first scene after the four bodies are hauled up on the ropes, they kick a while then seem to die. They are all hanging by the neck which holds the head erect. After the one on the right dies, its head droops. That clearly shows that the body is on a hanging body rig. The head would never droop while hanging by the neck.
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Ellison writes two sticky notes & pastes them to a photography of his attic. One of the notes says, "Box of films, how did it get there" (in his handwriting), and the other is a picture he drew of a box. When he looks at the photo and 2 sticky notes later on, the handwriting on note #1 is different, and the hand-drawn box on note #2 is also different.
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Ellison goes outside at night with a baseball bat to check for a possible intruder in his yard. He leaves the door wide open, but after taking 10 steps or so outside the house, the door is partially closed.
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Factual errors 

(at around 21 mins) Ellison initially goes to call the police after watching "BBQ '79". However, you can not get traditional operator assistance from a cell phone. You can get assistance from an operator within your network , but they would not answer "operator" when dialed . This greeting can only be achieved by dialing "0" on a land line.
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Throughout the movie it is mentioned that the snuff movies were filmed on 8mm film reels. However, according to director/writer C. Robert Cargill, Super-8 film was used. There isn't a whole lot of difference between film types but Super-8 is slightly different and considered better for filming home movies. 8mm film is harder to obtain than Super-8 film.
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Pennsylvania's county sheriffs departments do not conduct routine patrols. Their main focus are courts and prisons. The Pennsylvania State Police conducts patrols in municipalities that do not own their own departments.
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(at around 1h 25 mins) When Ellison finds the undead children in the attic watching their super 8 movie, they all appear to be in various states of decay. Stephanie, who was killed in 2011, has decayed more than the other children, who died decades before she did. The boy who was killed in 1968 looks nearly the same as he did before, yet the boy who was killed in 1979 has a face blue-green with mold and rot. Bodies that have been dead longer decay more than recent bodies.
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Miscellaneous 

As Ellison views all the super 8 home movies, they all have excellent lighting, everything is visible. It is stated that the films were made in the night when the murders took place. Super 8 cameras are unable to record at night with the camera alone, the film would only capture a black haze. For the home movies to have the lighting that they had, the murderer would have had to have the time to order and set up proper lighting equipment around the victims.

Plot holes 

(at around 8 mins) Ellison finds a scorpion in the attic of the house when he first ventures up there. We find out later that the house is in Pennsylvania. Scorpions, mostly found in subtropical climates, are not native to Pennsylvania. When Ellison mentions it to the deputy, he reacts as if it was a normal occurrence, rather than pointing out that it would have had to have been planted there.

Revealing mistakes 

(at around 1h 30 mins) Ellison retrieves firewood from outdoors, where it is raining, and then proceeds to make a perfect, non-smokey fire. This is impossible given the humidity that would have seeped into the wood.
(at around 1h 25 mins) The undead children in the attic watching a movie have makeup to make the look decayed. But it is only on their faces, makeup was never applied to the rest of them.
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(at around 1h 30 mins) When Ellison carries a container of materials to the attic for storage (which should contain a number of items) it is apparent that it is empty as he drops it on the attic floor, having been startled to see the projector box already sitting in the attic.
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(at around 1 min) In the opening scene, after the counterweight branch is cut, you see the long-handled saw "drop" from higher up in the tree. If you look carefully,you will see the saw is momentarily dangled, then dropped - and a small (albeit dark) hand is clearly visible while holding and dangling the weapon. The hand retracts after the saw is dangled and dropped.
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(at around 1h 25 mins) When Ellison finds the children in the attic watching one of the Super 8 films, Bughuul suddenly appears on camera and jumps out at Ellison, but his reaction to the scare is delayed about one or two seconds.
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Spoilers

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

(at around 1h 35 mins) At the end of the film, just after Ellison has been knocked out when finding the substance in his drink, he collapses to the floor, then Ashley appears. She says "I like how you made the movies longer, they're better this way" but her mouth barely moves.

See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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