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Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 250 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A true crime novelist discovers a box of mysterious, disturbing home movies that plunge his family into a nightmarish experience of supernatural horror. (Summit Entertainment)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 11, 2012
    75
    Even though the ending is inescapable (and therefore predictable), that does little to diminish its effectiveness.
  4. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Oct 10, 2012
    50
    The film's sound design is also expertly wrought with a blend of nearly subliminal noises, bumps in the night, and other frights.
  5. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Oct 11, 2012
    50
    Here's the thing: Found footage is scary when - because - it leaves you to fill in a lot of the blanks yourself. But actually watching whole families have terrible things done to them - well, hard-core horror fans may dig it, I guess. I'd call it forced voyeurism of the worst sort.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Oct 12, 2012
    40
    Pros and cons aside, Sinister has the benefit of arriving in the thick of Halloween season, right when movie-goers are most hungry for a few scares. And they'll get them from Derrickson's film, too.
  7. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Oct 10, 2012
    20
    Sinister is pretty much everything to hate about modern horror in one mixed bag, a ramshackle teardown of jump-scares and creaky tricks, saw-it-coming "surprises" and the lead-footed thud of inevitability as it tediously places one clumsy foot in front of the other, plodding towards a finale that comes far too late.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 80
  2. Negative: 7 out of 80
  1. Feb 21, 2013
    10
    Sinister is a very creepy and jumpy film! I definitely had nightmares for a few days! If you're into the horror genre, you wouldn't want toSinister is a very creepy and jumpy film! I definitely had nightmares for a few days! If you're into the horror genre, you wouldn't want to miss out on Sinister! Expand
  2. Feb 19, 2013
    9
    This movie is mysterious and chilling. The very core of supernatural horror movies invoking the late Stanley Kubrick's The shinning" in it'sThis movie is mysterious and chilling. The very core of supernatural horror movies invoking the late Stanley Kubrick's The shinning" in it's spine tingling thrills. Expand
  3. Oct 12, 2012
    9
    After a once-successful author decides to move his family into a house where a heinous murder took place, things start to get weird. That isAfter a once-successful author decides to move his family into a house where a heinous murder took place, things start to get weird. That is great for the viewer and bad for the family. This film is a nightmarish voyage into the past of unsolved murders and how the missing link doesn't always need to be found. The chills are perfectly timed and the pace of this thrilling horror film is perfect, weaving in and out of states of undeniable tension with little effort. Ethan Hawke is superb as the the distraught author. This isn't a by-the-numbers genre piece. It packs soe interesting surprises. And it doesn't hold back on the thrills, chills, and gore. For the most part, this is what horror should be. The flaw, and not really a big one, is that yet again a horror movie features characters that do not act rationally. Still, that's a minor setback to an otherwise perfect gem of taught horror. Expand
  4. Mar 3, 2013
    7
    I really wanted this movie to be scary...because it's been awhile since I've seen a really good horror movie. However this movie didn'tI really wanted this movie to be scary...because it's been awhile since I've seen a really good horror movie. However this movie didn't deliver from start to end It just wasn't as scary throughout as it could have been. There was a lot of promise in the beginning but the ending disappoints. Would I recommend that you watch it? Sure, it does have some scary parts and it is generally creepy. Expand
  5. Dec 8, 2012
    7
    Sinister is one of those films that are not scary on the whole but the little bits and a few scenes such as ghosts walking around you, strangeSinister is one of those films that are not scary on the whole but the little bits and a few scenes such as ghosts walking around you, strange sounds in the attic, things happening on their own, which despite of being typical and somewhat perdictable, manage to give you slight scares. The concept of the film is really different and amazing but it's execution is not brilliant, at least, not to me. Ethan Hawke's performance is the one thing that keeps you connected with the film and obviously, the main storyline of the film. At some points, it all feels pointless but if we look closer, the connection of the murders is present and is explained as well. I don't know why would anyone move into a house where the murders happened and not tell his own wife about it. This seems freaky. Ethan's character is really freaky, he gets obsessed with this stuff and that's what costs him and his entire family. This film does not offer blood and gore, what it offers requires your complete attention and concentration in the storyline. Honestly, my expectations were not high and I think it's a good thing because I am completely satisfied with this movie. Not scary, but this isn't a bad film either especially in 2012, when majority of the horror films sucked. Expand
  6. 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. Expand
  7. May 24, 2013
    0
    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 horrorHorrible 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. Expand

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