Sinister

Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30

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Critic Reviews

  1. Arizona Republic
    Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 23, 2012
    80
    Now this is a scary movie. And, given that it's a horror film, that means it's a good one. [18 Oct 2012]
  2. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Oct 11, 2012
    63
    The clichés are still clichés. They've just been renovated.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 10, 2012
    75
    And then there is Vincent D'Onofrio, as a university professor of the occult and mythological, who opens up a line of possibility that eventually saves the ending from being a red herring. Yes, the ending is horrifying, but I don't believe in that stuff. I'm pretty sure I don't.
  4. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Oct 10, 2012
    75
    I knew perfectly well, after a while, what Sinister was going to scare me with. But I got scared anyway.
  5. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 22, 2012
    75
    The movie makes up for uneven dialogue and pacing issues through sheer horrific imagery.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Oct 11, 2012
    80
    Rather than another drearily workaday horror picture, Sinister uses the supernatural to underline its examination of the all-too-human foibles of insecurity and myopic self-centeredness. As the best horror stories so often do, Sinister makes clear that we are our own boogeymen, the worst monsters of all.
  7. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 11, 2012
    75
    Even though the ending is inescapable (and therefore predictable), that does little to diminish its effectiveness.
  8. Reviewed by: Kevin C. Johnson
    Oct 12, 2012
    75
    It comes together with a gruesome though excellent ending that some will find difficult to shake.
  9. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 10, 2012
    83
    It's all done in questionable taste, mucking around in the nasty terrain of snuff films and children in constant peril, but Sinister is smart and well-crafted, and it scarcely gives the audience a moment to breathe.
  10. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Oct 10, 2012
    70
    Occasionally stupid (stretching even fright-flick conventions) but scary nonetheless, the picture should please horror fans.
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sep 22, 2012
    80
    The scares are not just intense but unyielding in this compelling horror yarn from "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" director Scott Derrickson.
  12. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Oct 9, 2012
    80
    Hawke's taut performance - lightly parodying his own career doldrums while playing an egotistical hack who's a close cousin of John Cassavetes's self-loathing actor in Rosemary's Baby - is totally credible.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 321 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 97
  2. Negative: 7 out of 97
  1. Oct 12, 2012
    5
    This film is more creepy and messed up than it is actually scary. All but one of the films scares are jump scares, and they're shown in theThis film is more creepy and messed up than it is actually scary. All but one of the films scares are jump scares, and they're shown in the trailer. Really this is just like "Insidious" just with more gruesome killings. Not an awful movie, just not really scary. I will sleep fine tonight. Full Review »
  2. Oct 12, 2012
    2
    Sinister was a movie that I had happily be awaiting for some time. I really wanted to see if this movie could successfully scare me. TheSinister was a movie that I had happily be awaiting for some time. I really wanted to see if this movie could successfully scare me. The trailers looked good enough to convince me to drop 12 bucks and see what was up. What I got was a series of predicable scares, a villain who is completely useless, and road map for the last act of the film. If you pay attention to the movie, even with one eye open and half asleep, you can see every twist and turn this movie has coming by at least 10 mins before it does. Not to say the jump scares don't make you jump, they do, but for what? This movie is advertised as a horror movie with an actual story.. and sad to say It just isn't here. The last 5 min of the movie feel so lazy I was blown away, it just sort of stops. As if the movie is saying, "I'm bored of entertaining you... go home." I won't go into detail for spoiler sake, but instead of keeping adrenaline high an going out with a bang, this movie plays it safe, and you walk out of the theater with none of the scares or really anything for that matter to remember. I really wanted to love this movie and all it had to offer, but clearly this is one best saved for catching on a random day when it hits HBOGO. Full Review »
  3. Oct 20, 2012
    8
    Quite an interesting horror film. Not typical of recent entries into the Horror genre, it is one that is more psychological than physicalQuite an interesting horror film. Not typical of recent entries into the Horror genre, it is one that is more psychological than physical horror. The movie follows a "True Crime" writer who moves his family into a house where the previous family had been killed and upon further investigation discovers that this murder may have been part of a larger chain of events dating back several decades. The first act is rather slow but necessary to the big events in the second and third acts of the film.
    If you like true horror films (not slasher flicks like Friday the 13th,"torture-porn" movies like Saw or even "sci-fi" horror like Resident Evil, actual HORROR films) this one is for you. Otherwise you'd best stay away.
    Full Review »