It owes more than a debt of gratitude to The Shining and The Ring, among others, but Derrickson processes the chilling influences into an eerie experience mindful of the significance of projected images watched alone in the dark.
If we define ["sinister"] as meaning, "ominous, forbidding, portending of doom," the film starts well enough, with suggestions of dark and sinister events to come; but soon other words creep into mind: stolid, sluggish, tedious.
I never look at Rotten Tomatoes until after I publish my review. My reviews agree with the Tomatometer 77% of the time. While "Sinister" is fresh here based on 100+ reviews, it's only barely so at 63%. That's wrong. This is the best horror film of 2012.