Sinister

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 318 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 318

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User Reviews

  1. Apr 4, 2016
    5
    Something wicked comes creaking along the floorboards in “Sinister” before racing prematurely out the door. Ethan Hawke plays a true-crime author who, when this creepy horror flick opens, is moving his family into a house where another family was slaughtered. He’s investigating the murders for his next book and tells his wife it’s the only house they can afford. The tree from which membersSomething wicked comes creaking along the floorboards in “Sinister” before racing prematurely out the door. Ethan Hawke plays a true-crime author who, when this creepy horror flick opens, is moving his family into a house where another family was slaughtered. He’s investigating the murders for his next book and tells his wife it’s the only house they can afford. The tree from which members of the other family were hanged — a scene that the director Scott Derrickson, who shows it several times, is clearly proud of — looms in a picture window like an omen.

    A twitchy Mr. Hawke builds a persuasive portrait of desperation with little help from the script and despite playing a character who makes so many mistakes he might as well be on a suicide mission. Mr. Derrickson, keeping the lights dimmed, effectively puts his pieces into play, even if their familiarity — a man struggling with his art, his foolishly supportive wife, children in peril, possible evil — brings to mind superior entertainments like “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Shining.” Mr. Derrickson’s cleverest detail is the box of Super-8 home movies that turn out to be diabolical mementos and which suggest that film, even when it’s small gauge, is one awesomely powerful medium.
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  2. Mar 27, 2016
    7
    Ethan Hawke stars as a crime novelist obsessed with a missing-girl case in Scott Derrickson's latest scary movie.

    A true-crime author stumbles onto something beyond his beat in Scott Derrickson's Sinister, which follows Ethan Hawke's Ellison Oswalt as he grows increasingly obsessed with a missing-girl case he hopes will lead to a bestselling book. Occasionally stupid (stretching even
    Ethan Hawke stars as a crime novelist obsessed with a missing-girl case in Scott Derrickson's latest scary movie.

    A true-crime author stumbles onto something beyond his beat in Scott Derrickson's Sinister, which follows Ethan Hawke's Ellison Oswalt as he grows increasingly obsessed with a missing-girl case he hopes will lead to a bestselling book. Occasionally stupid (stretching even fright-flick conventions) but scary nonetheless, the pic should please horror fans.

    When Oswalt's wife (Juliet Rylance), just uprooted to a new town (so he can investigate the new story) and already getting bad vibes from neighbors, asks "We didn't move a few doors down from a crime scene again, did we?," he assures her they didn't. She asked the wrong question: Oswalt has bought the very house in which four members of a family were slain, with the fifth abducted. An ornery sheriff (Fred Thompson) stops by before the boxes are even unloaded to warn the author he's not a fan of his books, and doesn't cotton to a fame-hungry scribbler second-guessing his department's work.

    Local lawmen are soon the least of Oswalt's worries. He finds a box of Super-8 films in the attic, each showing a family being murdered in a uniquely grisly way. Believing he's stumbled across his own In Cold Blood, he stays up nights scrutinizing the films and looking for connections between killings whose locations and victims are still unknown.

    Derrickson borrows the vibe of Joel Schumacher's 8MM as Hawke, swigging whiskey and giving the crease between his eyebrows a workout, struggles with the horrible things he's seeing. But the film soon shifts into bump-in-the-night mode, with an unseen visitor leaving clues for Oswalt in his own house and taunting him with increasingly unsettling (and harder to explain) stunts.

    Setting aside Oswalt's infuriating unwillingness to turn on the lights when homicidal intruders infiltrate his home at midnight, the movie has him doing some pretty unjustifiably dumb things -- like walking with a butcher knife thrust in front of him when he has every reason to think his sleepwalking young son might suddenly leap out at him.

    We allow him some of this, thanks to the picture's coy suggestions that Oswalt might be going a little nuts due to the nature of his investigation. But Derrickson and co-screenwriter C. Robert Cargill are eager to draw in more familiar supernatural elements -- an occultologist (Vincent D'Onofrio) identifies a crime-scene marking as a pagan symbol "dating back to Babylonian times" -- and the movie's proceduralist pleasure takes a backseat to ghosts and a mysterious figure known as "Mr. Boogie."

    The scares are effective throughout, helped a good deal by Christopher Young's glitchy electronic score. While the end clearly points toward a possible franchise, though, many of the ingredients that make Sinister compelling wouldn't make sense a second time around. Some of them barely hold up for the first.

    Enjoyably edgy fright flick meshes serial-killer and haunted house ingredients.
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  3. Feb 20, 2016
    7
    Brilliant acting from Ethan Hawke and creepy story will make you dream nightmares for sure! With few boring and weak scenes, overall this is a great movie for all horror lovers!
  4. Jan 23, 2016
    8
    This was a truly creepy horror film. I wish it was a little scarier, but Scott & Blumhouse knew what they were doing with this film. I was super pumped about the sequel, and I loved this movie, despite wanting more scares. However, it's worth watching and owning, and you should watch it
  5. Jan 19, 2016
    8
    This movie gave me a creep. I haven’t slept for a couple of nights because of this movie.

    Watch here for free http://www.watchfree.to/watch-29be6e-Sinister-movie-online-free-putlocker.html
  6. Nov 20, 2015
    10
    Probably my favorite horror movie after The babadook, Sinister is an utterly creepy movie with an unsettling and eerie feeling throughout the whole film.
  7. Oct 14, 2015
    8
    This one has jump scares, but good jump scares. Too often, bad horror films will rely on jump scares that startle more than they do scare. However, in Sinister, it does a fantastic job crafting an eerie and fully unsettling atmosphere thanks to a great back story, mysterious happenings, and the phenomenal score (did I mention the score?). Sinister is successful because it does not rely onThis one has jump scares, but good jump scares. Too often, bad horror films will rely on jump scares that startle more than they do scare. However, in Sinister, it does a fantastic job crafting an eerie and fully unsettling atmosphere thanks to a great back story, mysterious happenings, and the phenomenal score (did I mention the score?). Sinister is successful because it does not rely on these scares, rather it is the atmosphere that keeps you on edge and thrills you throughout. Ethan Hawke and the rest of the cast do a good job, but really, this shows director Scott Derrickson truly does have talent. With this atmospheric and creepy horror film, any claims to the opposite can be disregarded. A truly haunting experience, Sinister works well not only as a horror film, but as a crime film with a truly captivating story behind it that you try and piece together along with Hawke. If this film does not scare you, I truly envy you, because I was petrified from the very beginning. Expand
  8. Sep 22, 2015
    7
    Sinister is a decent midrange flick with a decent, somewhat washed up storyline and antagonist. The film only contains a handful of jumpscares, but they're pretty effective.
  9. Sep 15, 2015
    6
    The constant red herrings and cliche plot points prevent me from giving this film a 7 or 8. The film could have been a lot better, but it isn't a bad film by any means.
  10. Sep 4, 2015
    7
    Sinister is a very good horror film that uses scary imagery and heart wrenching suspense to scare the audience despite having a relatively familiar plot and characters.
  11. Aug 24, 2015
    6
    Reviewing this for comparison against Sinister 2. Sinister had some good acting talent behind it with Ethan Hawke as the tortured protagonist of the film. The film is a little too reliant on jumpscares but it still has its creepy moments. First viewing I thought the film was rather well done but on second I saw it as a reasonable effort but nothing too special. The main villain has aReviewing this for comparison against Sinister 2. Sinister had some good acting talent behind it with Ethan Hawke as the tortured protagonist of the film. The film is a little too reliant on jumpscares but it still has its creepy moments. First viewing I thought the film was rather well done but on second I saw it as a reasonable effort but nothing too special. The main villain has a creepy design, but some jump scares in this film are just too cheap. I give this a 6.5/10, but will keep it at a 6/10 on metacritics score. Expand
  12. Aug 10, 2015
    9
    Every Ethan Hawke movie I seen he dies. The purge. But sinister he dies too. I loved the movie it made me try to guess and it did not let me and I paid the price by the scares and mystery.
  13. Jul 23, 2015
    10
    I gave this movie a ten as it is the first horror movie to make the get up out of my seat and say no and begin to walk out, this movie terrified me so much, my friend had to drag my arse back down so I didn't leave the cinema and it was the lawn mower scene that did that, this film was original, scary and very unsettling, the OST was the greatest horror OST ever created, it managed toI gave this movie a ten as it is the first horror movie to make the get up out of my seat and say no and begin to walk out, this movie terrified me so much, my friend had to drag my arse back down so I didn't leave the cinema and it was the lawn mower scene that did that, this film was original, scary and very unsettling, the OST was the greatest horror OST ever created, it managed to terrify me at every single scene, Sinister is my favorite horror of all time and will remain like that for a long time to come Expand
  14. Jun 2, 2015
    9
    This movie was one of the best horror movies that I have ever seen and I think that's because it is a good blend of a few other genres of film but on top of it all its really scary. I found myself very scared throughout this movie which is kind of a rarity for me unless I'm watching one of the classic horror films. I love the crime aspect of this movie, I think every human being secretThis movie was one of the best horror movies that I have ever seen and I think that's because it is a good blend of a few other genres of film but on top of it all its really scary. I found myself very scared throughout this movie which is kind of a rarity for me unless I'm watching one of the classic horror films. I love the crime aspect of this movie, I think every human being secret loves a good serial killer film because we are so mesmerised with how their brains work. This film has a few twists along the way and really does leave you guessing until the very end. Ethan Hawke was amazing in this film as well. This guy could be the horror king if he wanted to, I'd like to see him in more films like this. If you are a horror fan please watch Sinister. Expand
  15. May 24, 2015
    9
    One of the very few modern horror films that manages to be chilling, thrilling, frightening, and disturbing. Great acting and a clever premise are just the icing on the cake.
  16. Apr 25, 2015
    6
    Someone finally figured out a way to make the concept of "found footage" interesting, and it's by incorporating it into the film's overall scope rather than employing it as the governing factor. Sinister is an intense horror film that starts out masquerading as something more mundane. It's hair-raising and gripping, although some of its narrative turns require a significant level ofSomeone finally figured out a way to make the concept of "found footage" interesting, and it's by incorporating it into the film's overall scope rather than employing it as the governing factor. Sinister is an intense horror film that starts out masquerading as something more mundane. It's hair-raising and gripping, although some of its narrative turns require a significant level of "suspension of disbelief." In true horror movie tradition, characters do things that are head-scratchingly dumb. Once you accept those logic-defying moments, the movie works with diabolical effectiveness. And, even though the ending is inescapable (and therefore predictable), that does little to diminish its effectiveness.

    Sinister opens with a disturbing scene: a Super-8 "home movie" that shows the hanging deaths of four people. As the narrative progresses, we learn that this is one of several amateur snuff films in existence. There's one of a family burning to death in a car, one of a multiple drowning, one where victims have their throats slit, and a particularly nasty one in which the murder weapon is a lawn mower. During the course of Sinister's running, we see all (or almost all) of these Super 8 movies; the rest of the film is presented using traditional, 3rd-person cinematography (non-shaky cam variety). One element that makes the "found footage" approach work uncommonly well in Sinister is that it doesn’t hijack the style. There's no lingering question about why someone is always filming.

    For about the first 30 minutes, Sinister unfolds more like a mystery/thriller than a horror excusrion as Ellison's investigation points toward the possible involvement of a serial killer. Then unexplained things begin to happen: loud noises in the attic, a film projector starting on its own, and a demonic face moving in a supposedly "still" photograph on a computer screen.

    Sinister features its share of effective "boo!" moments. The makeup for the mysterious figure is well-done. It's genuinely unsettling and doesn't feel like a re-harsh of any of the horror movie icons. Also, because it's shown only fleetingly, it never loses its power to disturb as a result of overexposure. Director Scott Derrickson (whose resume includes the first-person horror film The Exorcism of Emily Rose as well as the big-budget remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still) develops an atmosphere that emphasizes isolation and claustrophobia. Aside from a friendly local deputy (James Ransone), Ellison has no one beyond his immediate family to turn to for support. There's no generic best friend or brother. The suspense builds in tandem with a burgeoning sense of doom. It's a slow-burn approach that may not work on those infected with a need for brash, fast-paced gore-fests. Sinister is plenty grisly, but some of the bloodiest instances are left to the viewer's imagination.

    In developing Sinister, director Derrickson and his co-writer, C. Robert Cargill, display an unerring understanding of what will unsettle viewers in a darkened auditorium. They borrow liberally from earlier horror efforts, with The Shining being the most obvious influence. Derrickson's use of sound is particularly important. The bumps in the night are loud enough to cause viewers to jump in their seats and Christopher Young's discordant score is perfect for the material. It has been a long time since there has been a genuinely creepy horror movie available to audiences in search of a good Halloween scare; Sinister provides that missing October ingredient.
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  17. Mar 22, 2015
    8
    This is more of a drama than a horror film.But the movie still has some effective "scary" scenes.The movie is kind of slow and the horror is present in the end but,the movie is pretty entertaining and Ethan Hawke is really good.
  18. Jan 22, 2015
    5
    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
    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 cliche. 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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  19. Dec 30, 2014
    8
    One of the most scariest horror movies, I have ever seen! The beginning is great, it setups a great story f the movie and the mystery starts with a lot of scares. The ending is alittle bad. But overall 90 percent of the movie is great!
  20. Dec 30, 2014
    7
    Sinister is a 2012 slasher horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. It stars Ethan Hawke as fictional true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt who discovers a box of home movies in his attic that puts his family in danger. Sinister premiered at the SXSW festival, and was released in the United States on October 12, 2012, and in the UK on October 5, 2012.
  21. Nov 13, 2014
    9
    "Sinister" 10 Scale Rating: 8.5 (Excellent) ...

    The Good: The right blend of gore and spookiness that makes a horror movie entertaining. In most modern horror tales, the "boogie man" is far more interesting when you only catch glimpses and becomes silly and not very frightening once you see them in all their glory. "Sinister" does not suffer from this as the film's villain is kept in
    "Sinister" 10 Scale Rating: 8.5 (Excellent) ...

    The Good: The right blend of gore and spookiness that makes a horror movie entertaining. In most modern horror tales, the "boogie man" is far more interesting when you only catch glimpses and becomes silly and not very frightening once you see them in all their glory. "Sinister" does not suffer from this as the film's villain is kept in the shadows just enough to retain his mystery and scariness. The story is a creative one. Wrong at times, gleefully so, but still creative and entertaining all the same.

    The Bad: For a few moments, the imagery was pretty horrible and that might rub some the wrong way. I was fine with it as it helped tell the story, but some might not agree. While the film strays from most cliches, it does have a few too many "jumpy" scenes where nothing really happens. Those scenes almost felt like filler and while I accept these scenes as horror film staples, this film could have had a few less.
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  22. Sep 16, 2014
    10
    Sinister is one of creepiest dangerous , criminal acts movies of the year 2012 you could tell this is the conjuring vibe you can tell by the music this is the most shocking film by Scott Derickson that i have ever seen. But to be honest its a little bit better then James Wan's The Conjuring. (but honestly nothing is better then the conjuring ) I think that this more messed up thenSinister is one of creepiest dangerous , criminal acts movies of the year 2012 you could tell this is the conjuring vibe you can tell by the music this is the most shocking film by Scott Derickson that i have ever seen. But to be honest its a little bit better then James Wan's The Conjuring. (but honestly nothing is better then the conjuring ) I think that this more messed up then Saw. But if you like Saw , Insidious then watch the horror's legend horror film ' Sinister '. Grade A+ Expand
  23. Sep 2, 2014
    9
    "Sinister" better-than-average modern horror flick, and, while it may be similar to "The Ring" in some aspects, it's still an entertaining and scary film with a good twist ending.
  24. Aug 31, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "Don't worry, daddy. I'll make you famous again." - Ashley

    Another horror movie . I like it because is very creepy and with jump scares.

    ***********
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  25. Aug 26, 2014
    6
    'Sinister' delivers on the premise that it is in all essence a horror film. It certainly succeeds in creating a feeling of suspense; dusty video clips and darkened rooms are plenty, complete with squeaking doors and creaking floorboards. Sufficient time is invested in the main characters and the murders themselves are certainly creative.

    Where the film falls flat however, is in the
    'Sinister' delivers on the premise that it is in all essence a horror film. It certainly succeeds in creating a feeling of suspense; dusty video clips and darkened rooms are plenty, complete with squeaking doors and creaking floorboards. Sufficient time is invested in the main characters and the murders themselves are certainly creative.

    Where the film falls flat however, is in the relatively straight forward plot. There are no massive twists here, and I couldn't help feeling ultimately deflated by its predictable ending. Sure, there are intense thrills throughout the picture but it suffers from an ultimately simplistic narrative.
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  26. Jun 12, 2014
    10
    I have to give this a movie a 10 rating. Sinister is a very dark movie, creepy, spine tingling. This is the only movie that I have watch in the past ten years that spooked me. A perfect dark story line with an equally dark soundtrack makes this movie one of my favorites.
  27. May 22, 2014
    8
    Sinister, although maybe looking pretty tame, is one of the scariest movies of the last ten years, and is probably one of the top ten scariest movies I have ever seen, right up there with Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist. Of course, some of the elements of the movie are a bit cliché at times, but they are overshadowed by its ability to create scares and thrills pretty much out of thin air.Sinister, although maybe looking pretty tame, is one of the scariest movies of the last ten years, and is probably one of the top ten scariest movies I have ever seen, right up there with Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist. Of course, some of the elements of the movie are a bit cliché at times, but they are overshadowed by its ability to create scares and thrills pretty much out of thin air. Plus, the movie is bolstered by great acting and a very intriguing and engaging story. This one really surprised me, and took me to levels that I never would've expected from this genre. It is a truly bone-chillingly horrifying movie. Expand
  28. May 2, 2014
    10
    This horror flick stood out to me, I started out with no expectations what so ever... Sinister nailed it, it really got me thinking and pondering of what supernatural means to me. Being a Horror film buff, this movie's script seems edgy, bold, different and smart. (In my opinion, of course)... I loved everything about this film! A well written script, an amazing director, Scott DerricksonThis horror flick stood out to me, I started out with no expectations what so ever... Sinister nailed it, it really got me thinking and pondering of what supernatural means to me. Being a Horror film buff, this movie's script seems edgy, bold, different and smart. (In my opinion, of course)... I loved everything about this film! A well written script, an amazing director, Scott Derrickson and Cinematographer, Chris Norr who did an amazing job Expand
  29. Apr 8, 2014
    10
    This is perhaps one of the best horror movies ever made in a long time. The movie does not solely rely on jump-scares but more on the intense creepy and disturbing factor. However, whenever jump-scares are present, it is indeed scary! Great acting, original plot, and unique concept. A sequel must be made!
  30. Jan 19, 2014
    9
    'Sinister' is a creepy horror movie lover's delight. The opening sequence sets the tone of the movie. Ethan Hawk's performance, as a once famous crime writer who now struggles for another best seller, is near perfect. The ambient electronic music score is very unsettling which adds to the fright factor. Amateur Super 8 film footage of different brutal murders, which are linked together,'Sinister' is a creepy horror movie lover's delight. The opening sequence sets the tone of the movie. Ethan Hawk's performance, as a once famous crime writer who now struggles for another best seller, is near perfect. The ambient electronic music score is very unsettling which adds to the fright factor. Amateur Super 8 film footage of different brutal murders, which are linked together, throughout the country over a 50 year timespan imply serial killings and run through an old film projector adds even more to the tone of the movie's creepiness. Sinister is thoroughly engrossing and a true fright fest that had me jumping in my seat! But it's the climax that's the final killer that sets this movie above many other horror films. Expand
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
  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: Joshua Rothkopf
    Oct 16, 2012
    60
    Sinister has so much going for it - adult psychology, a great bitchfest of a marital meltdown - that you wince when it finally makes some rather dull choices involving the supernatural.
  3. 20
    Sinister did something I thought would be impossible: It made this lifelong horror freak abhor horror movies.