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Generally favorable reviews- based on 235 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 235

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  1. Aug 26, 2014
    '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. Expand
  2. Jun 12, 2014
    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.
  3. May 22, 2014
    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
  4. May 2, 2014
    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 Derrickson and Cinematographer, Chris Norr who did an amazing job Expand
  5. Apr 16, 2014
    Consensus: Despite Hawke's superb performance and some creepy moments, Sinister is boring, smartless, completely illogical, and its final act just ruined the whole film. 55/100 (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?, No.
    The film starts fast, but it becomes quite tedious and boring, begins with a very disturbing scene in which we see a family being murdered hanging from a tree, but this scene is constantly repeated throughout the film again and again, and it becomes tedious and less effective.
    The suspense and strange noises start after the first 20 minutes of the film, the children start to get up at midnight, get into boxes, paint creepy pictures so... These are the boring parts of Sinister and the thousands of times that Ethan Hawke goes to investigate all these strange noises and creepy sounds, holding a bat for his protection. Sinister has a well-told story, made ​​me jump a few times and Ethan Hawke's performance is superb and you can feel identified with his character.
    I don't think that is one of the best horror films of all time, but I can say without risk that it's a horror movie with a decent story and superb performances (except for some stupid child actors), Sinister isn't quite original, is full of loud noises, cheap scares, lights turned off... But has enough originality to stand out from other films of the genre.
    Sinister has lots of terrifying moments and suspense, the special effects are generally good except in a few scenes where lots of CGI was used in all the ghosts of the missing children, and that disgusted me so much because this scenes look extremely cheap. I find it very interesting and original all the content of all the tapes, it's pretty scary and looks very real, the death of all these poor families.
    It's also very sad to see the character of Ethan Hawke, for some strange reason I felt sorry for him, he just wanted to write his book, and become famous again, but unfortunately there was not a happy ending.
    The stars of the film for me are Ethan Hawke and Juliet Rylance nobody else, this two actors are very professional and seem serious at all times and i enjoyed every conversation that they had, all the fights between each other. Sinister has a solid script, and this plus the performances and all the suspense, the film creates a frightening atmosphere.
    But the last 15 minutes of the film are awful, but at times it keeps all the tension and suspense. In its thrid act the film becomes very explicit and the last 5 seconds of the film are extremely predictable. All the terror and suspense that the film reached previously, completely gones and the film becomes silly and illogical, Sinister fails to convince me, for me the ending was highly predictable, and despite the good performances from Hawke and Juliet Rylance i can't give it positive review, because the end result sucks as hell it was boring, stupid and illogical.
    I have seen Sinister three times already, the first time I saw it alone in the day, the second time with my sister and the third time alone... again, because I really want to like it, but no, it fails to convince me. We're talking about a movie that generally has great reviews from the audience and critics. Anyway, I don't recommend Sinister for horror fans, it's very boring, crappy edited, has an excessive suspense, and a stupid and ilogical ending in my opinion. Sinister has enough horror and good performances to satisfy audiences in general. But as a horror fan and as a critic I give it a 55/100, could be much better.

    NICE: The performances in general, especially Ethan Hawke and the charismatic British actress Juliet Rylance. The script has its ups and downs but is generally a solid script. The content of the tapes is very disturbing, and there are several scares and frights.

    FAIL: The end just ruins all the terror and suspense that was built up throughout the entire film, the performances of the children are excrement, the decisions of the characters are illogical, stupid, retarded and brainless.

    WATCH THIS MOVIE IF... you expect good performances and if you get scared easily.

    DON'T WATCH THIS MOVIE IF... you expect a memorable entertaining horror movie.

    Full Review: www.MemoBosque.Blogspot.Mx Twitter: @MemoBosque
  6. Apr 8, 2014
    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!
  7. Jan 19, 2014
    '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
  8. RRJ
    Dec 31, 2013
    There are creepy moments...I guess. But MAN a bunch of loud noises is not scary.

    A loud noise aka a jump scare is one of the most tiring things in horror films. So many films do it and its just been overused. A jump scare is something that startles you but it doesn't scare you there's a difference.

    Okay, Sinister...jump scares. To me the scariest/freakiest/creepiest part of this film
    was the opening. At some point the film just started to resort to jump scares where Ethan Hawke's character would walk around in his house while the house was pitch black and just...jump scares.

    There was a twist at the end but I felt another film named Home Movies did that better the idea I mean. I won't spoil what it is.

    Overall I gave the film a 4. Wasn't OHMYWORSTMOVIEEVER!!! but it was just...there. There's so much that scares people out there. All types of phobias and what not you can tap into. All types of tricks you can play to scare the audience or at least get the audience creeped or freaked out but those friggin JUMP SCARES! Every time, so many films just resort to this and its just so cheap.

    Hold on...was that....wait...hold on...oh it was nothing....*INSERT LOUD NOISE!!!!!*
  9. Nov 28, 2013
    I keep getting this move and "Insidious" mixed up. Neither one is very distinguishable from the other; if you liked one, you'll probably like the other. Ethan Hawke was entertaining to watch, the rest of the movie was just OK. It wouldn't be a complete waste of a movie night to watch this, but you won't remember much, or really care to.
  10. Oct 6, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Stupid movie, with bad actors, bad script, bad environment, a lot of advertising...
    Only to comment, the 4 people who die hanged? The branch of the tree will never have the weight to do that, never! Stupid anding too, so obvious and unoriginal.
  11. Sep 29, 2013
    0 is a bening review for this piece of mediocre and stupid crap done for the mindless masses from sinister Hollywood. The only thing it produces is lotes of yawns an ocasional laughters.
  12. Aug 30, 2013
    While it's one of the better horror movies I've seen, "Sinister" fails to bring any real scares. It's got a creepy tone, but it never manages to turn creepiness into terror. The plot about a failing true-crime writer trying solve a murder that the cops can't in order to relive his glory days is a good anchor point, and watching him do this at the expense of his family gives the film a certain bleak tone that sets it apart. The movie is at its best when you watch the main character witness gruesome murders through these mysterious recordings, and seeing how it affects his sanity. These moments succeed because they have a sick and creepy voyeuristic feel to them, and also because they give the film a feeling of mystery that has you dying to know just what the heck is going on. The movie suffers when the main character is investigating bumps in the night, which is disappointing because this usually happens right after the good parts. This is when the movie should get scary, but instead it lets us down. Rather than providing a terrifying moment the movie gives us a lame jump scare, or even worse, nothing at all. Why the film chose to build up the tension only to let it fizzle out here is beyond me. But by far the most disappointing thing in the movie is when it finally reveals what is going on. After watching the mystery build and build, and have you get more and more invested, it falls flat on its face an incredibly disappointing and un-scary reveal. It ruins the whole tone of the movie and even opens up one big plot hole, ending the movie in disappointment. I haven't been scared in a horror movie in forever and "Sinister" was no different. The one thing that keeps the movie watchable is the fact that it is creepy, which is more than I can say for most other horror movies. It's just a shame it never takes the next step to make it scary. Expand
  13. Aug 11, 2013
    This movie is awesome. The idea is commonly used but they did it in a way that works. The story is pretty simple and easy to follow but that doesn't make it so that the story sucks. This movie doesn't run on jump scares and instead runs on creepy music/atmosphere which I think they pulled off very well the camera effects like Film Grain and dark lighting give the whole movie a really creepy feeling.

    Overall if your a horror fan and your looking for something good, this is the movie for you!
  14. Aug 5, 2013
    I usually dont watch horror movies cause they are booring as but this one were very interesting and actually a bit scary.
  15. Jul 24, 2013
    I really like this movie, i recommend this to all people who like creepy, mysterious movies. It was pretty there were scenes which creeped me out and that's what i love about Horror-movies.
  16. Jul 21, 2013
    Not many horror movies make the jeeper creepers jump out of me, but this one definitely takes the cake. The flow from scene to scene and the dramatic sounds and camera angles coincided with each other very well. I would recommend this movie to anyone that wants a late night scare.
  17. Jul 21, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Sinister is a great horror film with some mystery in it and is keeps you interested throughout the whole movie. There is only one bad thing on Sinister. The ending. Though the film is well directed and it has its scary moments there is a bad ending which ruins the whole movie. it doesn't explain you why this all happened and how is it possible for the kids to do that things. That is the bad thing about that movie. Though it is scary and it keeps you it has a bad ending which doesn't make sense. Too bad. However you will enjoy that film and you may bricks. In the good way Expand
  18. Jul 13, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Sinister is a 2012 horror film directed by Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) with Ethan Hawke and Vincent D'Onofrio.
    The film is about Oswalt Ellison, a writer of chronicles black that, with the book Kentucky Blood, managed to get a huge success, but now his latest books have not been successful and then to find a new story that can give him the same success he had with Kentucky Blood, Ellison decided to move his family to a house in King Country, where a family was hanged on a tree branch while the youngest child was gone. While he wanders the house, Ellison is a black box in the attic that includes home movies amateur super 8 that show the death of the family who lived in that house before he and other families killed in the past. From that moment Ellison will have to deal with mysterious forces and disturbing.
    Sinister does not have a particularly original plot, indeed, one can say that it is the plot of many other horror movies, but the thing that makes this film is really nice the way it was done. Scott Derrickson proved to be a good director succeeding, so also original to disturb and scare us (just think of the movies, which displays the killings of other families) and also manages to make good use of cliches. Also excellent ending that manages to scare the viewer even more.
  19. Jul 6, 2013
    Fairly bland, honestly. It's not all that scary. Ethan Hawke does a solid job. The lighting is terrible. There are literally never lights on in the house for whatever reason. Slightly above average horror fare, but nothing remarkable. 5.8/10
  20. Jun 25, 2013
    This horror film is probably one of the scariest I have seen in a while, and not because of the jump scares. Just the overall feel of the film is tension enough, but the music and sound makes the movie 10 times better. The music while you see some of the disturbing scenes is quite hard to listen too at some points, starting from the very beginning. But it does have it's problems, when you start finding and figuring stuff out, the creepiness goes away. Films like this need to learn how to end it on a cliff hanger, or let the audience decide theories on what was happening. It's not really a film I would watch again, but if your deciding on what horror to watch next, perhaps you should try adding this to the list, altho I could name a dozen more that could probably have more of a desired effect. Expand
  21. Jun 25, 2013
    Best horror movie I have ever seen. It was so scary I had to turn the lights on! The music is particularly effective, being low bassy and menacing. The found footage is very creepy, and having no sound makes it worse. I did not even recognise Ziggy from The Wire! I only saw his name afterwards.
  22. Jun 4, 2013
    "Sinister not suffering from much horror cliches. Is actually a great horror film, that is well written, great performance by Ethan Hawke and actually some smart thrills. made me jump. Needless to say Sinister is that scary movie we all need and crave." B
  23. May 24, 2013
    Horrible movie. Way too drawn out and not enough scares. The plot of this movie gives it a nice disturbing feel, but it is not a good horror film. I never felt scared the entire movie.
  24. May 16, 2013
    its pretty good thats why i gave it a 8 its one of the best scary movies i have seen sure it wasnt that scary to me well alot of movies arent that scary to me but watch it its good
  25. Apr 16, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Although I enjoyed the overall concept there were a few things that threw me off the movie and took it down a few notches from being perfect. I didn't personally enjoy some of the overly-theatrical scenes involving dead children appearing, which is a little overdone and didn't really add anything to what the film was trying to achieve. Jump scenes (minus the dead children) were very well executed and sometimes gave you unexpected frights others were predictable. The script needed a bit of work, particularly the wife's lines. She is an English character yet everything she says is very Americanized some of her words are even spoken with an American twang (despite the fact the actress is actually English) which is quite irritating as it detracts from the authenticity of the movie. Her scenes with 'Ellison' were often quite overdramatic and you couldn't really feel much a connection between the two of them; their on-screen marriage seemed to be a (hard to stomach) mixture of love and hate. If that is what it was supposed to be, it wasn't portrayed well!
    But overall, this wasn't a bad horror movie. It's a combination of horror and psychological thriller, which to me is the backbone of a great movie for this genre. The dry humour added a little something into the mix, which was quite unexpectedly pleasant.
  26. Apr 13, 2013
    I believe this was very well written with convincing acting. Overall a good, original horror movie... well despite the whole "camera" trend these days.
  27. Apr 7, 2013
    This is a horror movie that is trying really hard to be a real horror. The problem is, it isn't. While there are a few genuinely creepy moments, generally it is rather dull with little excitement. There is very little atmosphere and rather dry dialogue. The movie feels like it would have been better had it been made by a bunch of college freshmen as a school project. Other than Hawke's character, you really do not care at all about any of the other characters and they barely seem relevant other than being plot devices.

    While I like the idea behind this movie and I did try to like it. It just failed to impress on any level. An OK horror movie that really is nothing special.
  28. Mar 31, 2013
    Although it has allot of the cliché horror film elements it differentiates itself by having good actors (Hawke) and a creepy atmosphere which suggests more scary things could happen than there actually do. Maybe not a classic in the genre but certainly one of the better horror films.
  29. Mar 28, 2013
    Many people still consider the horror genre a marginal cinema, and if you watch movies like Sinister you can fast jump to that conclusion. There is here a very good story, however, quite badly told, and the blame falls on the many cliches that are essential to keep the narrative going on. But what is more harmful for the movie is how much aseptic and clean its horror and violence are depicted, how light is the treat and how faded is the fate of the main characters, in a way the movie ends up being self censored probably to hit more audiences with a lower rate. So, what remains of a movie not scary, not terrifying or disturbing, qualities of the horror cinema, are lame cliches that make the final act as predictable as the end of a soap opera. Don't rely on Sinister to judge horror cinema, this is the hollywoodian horror cinema. Stick on extreme french wave if you wish a real evolving of the genre or at least, stay away from, most of, the horror that comes from US. Expand
  30. Mar 18, 2013
    rented this in red box not sure what it would be like... i was very suprised that it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole movie. great story and was very creepy. its been a while since ive seen a movie that creepy.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 23, 2012
    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
    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.