6.8/10
192,492
582 user 422 critic

Sinister (2012)

Trailer
2:15 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Washed-up true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of super 8 home movies that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s.

Director:

Scott Derrickson
Reviews
Popularity
1,822 ( 67)
3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Sinister 2 (2015)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A young mother and her twin sons move into a rural house that's marked for death.

Director: Ciarán Foy
Stars: James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan
Insidious I (2010)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.

Director: James Wan
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins
The Ring (2002)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox
Whispers III (2015)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young couple grieving the recent death of their daughter move to the countryside where they are haunted by their tragedy and a sinister darkness.

Director: Tammi Sutton
Stars: Barbara Nedeljakova, Craig Rees, Keeley Hazell
Silent Hill (2006)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A woman, Rose, goes in search for her adopted daughter within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill.

Director: Christophe Gans
Stars: Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, Sean Bean
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young solicitor travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

Director: James Watkins
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Newlyweds are terrorized by demonic forces after moving into a large house that was the site of a grisly mass murder a year before.

Director: Andrew Douglas
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Jimmy Bennett
The Awakening I (2011)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.

Director: Nick Murphy
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The Lamberts believe that they have defeated the spirits that have haunted their family, but they soon discover that evil is not beaten so easily.

Director: James Wan
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey
Dark Water (2005)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A mother and daughter, still wounded from a bitter custody dispute, hole up in a run-down apartment building. Adding further drama to their plight, they are targeted by the ghost of former resident.

Director: Walter Salles
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Ariel Gade, John C. Reilly
1408 (2007)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Director: Mikael Håfström
Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack
Dream House (2011)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Soon after moving into their seemingly idyllic new home, a family learns of a brutal crime committed against former residents of the dwelling.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ethan Hawke ... Ellison Oswalt
Juliet Rylance ... Tracy
Fred Dalton Thompson ... Sheriff
James Ransone ... Deputy
Michael Hall D'Addario ... Trevor
Clare Foley ... Ashley
Rob Riley Rob Riley ... E.M.T.
Tavis Smiley ... Anchor
Janet Zappala Janet Zappala ... Reporter
Victoria Leigh ... Stephanie
Cameron Ocasio ... BBQ Boy
Ethan Haberfield Ethan Haberfield ... Pool Party Boy
Danielle Kotch ... Lawn Girl
Blake Mizrahi ... Sleepy Time Boy
Nicholas King ... Bughuul / Mr. Boogie (as Nick King)
Edit

Storyline

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 begins researching the crime so that 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 him 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 worst. Will they survive? Written by Michael Hallows Eve

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

writer | box | ghost | fear | first part | See All (110) »

Taglines:

Have You Seen Him? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent images and some terror | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Scott Derrickson Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,435,722 (United Kingdom), 7 October 2012, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,007,634, 14 October 2012, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$48,086,903

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$87,727,807
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The makers of Sinister scoured the Internet for weeks looking for the most obscure and creepy soundtrack they could find. While Christopher Young composed a large number of the background scores for the movie, C. Robert Cargill bought the rights to music by Ulver, JudgeHydrogen and Boards of Canada to use in the snuff film clips because of their mysterious and eerie noises. Christopher Young's soundtrack is available on CD, but the CD doesn't include the additional songs by other bands and has yet to be released on vinyl or as MP3s. See more »

Goofs

(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. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tracy: Just one box?
Ellison Oswalt: It's for my office. It's fragile.
Tracy: Sissy.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Horror Movies: 2010s (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Fragment #1
Written by Nicholas Triarchos
Performed by Accurst
Courtesy of Red Stream, Inc./Colflesh Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
It takes a lot to scare me... This did!
14 October 2012 | by asda-manSee all my reviews

Ever since the very first trailer came out I thought, "now this looks good!" However, some quite poor reviews came in so my dreams were shattered slightly. But then suddenly some rave reviews came out, even from my favourite critic, Chris Tookey who gave it 5 stars! My faith was suddenly re-installed and I was incredibly excited to see it. It didn't disappoint!

With "The Cabin in the Woods" and now "Sinister", 2012 is restoring my faith in modern horror. It's a truly outstanding film that had me gripped for its entire 115 minutes. The film doesn't dawdle about too much either, it opens with a highly unsettling clip of found footage and then we get a beautiful swooping shot of a man and his family moving in to a new house. It's a standard set-up that we've even seen a few months ago in the surprisingly fun horror, "The Possession" but it's a clever one because we're mostly focused on our hero and in a sense that is what the film is about. His obsession with himself and trying to be re-ignite his fame after writing a highly successful debut true crime novel, followed by several duds.

I was quite surprised as to how much exposition was given to the main character and it only makes the film even more compelling than it is. He's also played brilliantly by Ethan Hawke, who makes up for the lack of acting skills his wife possesses. It reminded me a little of "The Shining" with the egotistical novelist stumbling upon a certain ghostly history, and it certainly contains the same amount of creepy moments. Ethan stumbles upon the super 8 films quite quickly which I was surprised and pleased about, as all too often there's a belated exposition before anything remotely frightening happens.

These super 8 films are masterpieces in themselves. It's a sort of car crash effect, as you don't really want to see them, but you can't stop watching. They're all incredibly creepy, unsettling and sinister (like what I did there?) They are also set-up perfectly with the horrible grainy picture, silence as well as highly unsettling music that all adds to the creepiness. All of them are engaging and compelling to watch. They're also very chilling and are sure to engrave themselves into your mind for a long time after the film has finished.

From then on it's an intriguing and creepy mystery as more and more disturbing information is uncovered. It's also clever how it's unclear if some of what Ethan's seeing is actually real or not. Is he really hearing noises or is it just the whisky talking? I liked the whole family element as well, showing the protagonist as not just some perfect hero, but also as a flawed character. The whole strained relationship with his wife is a fantastic element on top of the central ghost story. Although the woman who plays her is incredibly wooden!

There's a strong, unsettling atmosphere that underlies through the whole film. The demon man is also quite frightening and not too much is explained about him which certainly adds to scare factor. I've heard people call this a boring film and a bad film, but it's none of these things. It's a genuinely horrifying horror film with fantastic writing and directing. It's the type of film that gets under your skin and leaves its print in your mind for a long time after the credits have rolled. The ending is one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen in a horror film and I've seen many!

"Sinister" is a ghost story of Japanese proportions. By the end, I was actually terrified and had chills all down my back, which is something that doesn't happen too often. I never get scared watching films, but after this and seeing "Noroi: The Curse" which also frightened me, I was starting to think that I was becoming soft! But then I thought no. These are just brilliantly scary films that are high on atmosphere and don't solely rely on jump scares like too many American ghost films. "Sinister" is one of the best horror films this year. It has a relentless sense of dread throughout and is also incredibly effective and compelling. I can't wait to see it again, and also can't urge you enough to go and see it for yourself! Although, I'd recommend a night light for when you sleep.

Please read my weird and wonderful horror movie review blog! www.asdaman.wordpress.com


149 of 226 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 582 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed