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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 235 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
    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
    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
    Even though the ending is inescapable (and therefore predictable), that does little to diminish its effectiveness.
  4. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Oct 10, 2012
    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
    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
    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
    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: 54 out of 74
  2. Negative: 7 out of 74
  1. Feb 21, 2013
    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 to miss out on Sinister! Expand
  2. Nov 28, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This film is incredible, the best film I've seen all year, it takes a lot to make me jump in a horror movie and this one made me jump twice in my books that's impressive. I was a bit skeptical at first but this film proved to be worth my time, this film escapes the cliche of a psycho murderer and I thought it was quite a clever plot although I think that it was a bit weird that they have the youngest child possessed by some sort of cult and killing their family members in gruesome bloody ways. However it was clever because no-one would suspect a child who is portrayed as innocent an sane who then disappears after murdering their family and have you believe that it was a murder and child abduction case. I also thought the mask was incredible and creepy. Loved this film. Expand
  3. Nov 25, 2012
    WOW... I expected nothing of this movie... I was so damn scary. At least the most scariest movie this year. What scene gives me the most creeps especially?? the pool scene on the tape. That thing what ate the kids looks nothing alike in the other tapes. It was if he had a very long nose, whaha.. Ands all those kids in the attic freaks me out too. I have to check all of my paintings tonight :P Expand
  4. 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. Expand
  5. Jan 20, 2013
    Sinister is refreshing and omni-effective as a horror film; the blend of anxiety and discomfort forces the viewer to attach the character
  6. 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
  7. 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. Expand

See all 74 User Reviews