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

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 273 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]
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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: 56 out of 85
  2. Negative: 7 out of 85
  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. May 16, 2013
    10
    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 arentits 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 Expand
  3. Aug 11, 2013
    9
    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 thatThis 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!
    Expand
  4. Mar 10, 2013
    7
    This movie is extremely creepy and screwed up. It is actually a good murder mystery film too. There are a few jump scares but the film doesn'tThis movie is extremely creepy and screwed up. It is actually a good murder mystery film too. There are a few jump scares but the film doesn't rely on that alone. This is one of the better horror movies I've seen, not the best but not the worst. If you haven't seen it I recommend watching it. There was a part I physical turned away from the movie because that's how messed up it is. This film isn't for the faint of heart. Expand
  5. Jun 4, 2013
    7
    "Sinister not suffering from much horror cliches. Is actually a great horror film, that is well written, great performance by Ethan Hawke and"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 Expand
  6. Aug 30, 2013
    6
    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 managesWhile 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
  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

See all 85 User Reviews