More stupid than scary, Sinister can't even figure out who its real demon is.
| Original Score: 2/4
It comes together with a gruesome though excellent ending that some will find difficult to shake.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
A mixed bag of old-school and contemporary horror tricks that occasionally raises a hair prickle of intrigue.
Despite some effective bumps and frights, and at least one memorable jolt from a full-throated D'Addario, "Sinister" is mainly just a series of snuff-reels with sick-joke titles ...
C'mon, Ethan Hawke, you're better than this. Isn't there a "Before Sunset" sequel that needs your attention?
The hero of "Sinister" is almost unaccountably dumb. So, unfortunately, is the movie.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
As the best horror stories so often do, "Sinister" makes clear that we are our own boogeymen, the worst monsters of all.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
In its plot and even its title, the movie feels like a grab bag of every popular horror trope of the last 30 years.
| Original Score: 2/5
As much as "Sinister" wants to tell a story, there isn't much of a story to be told.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Relies more on "gotcha" moments than storytelling.
Now this is a scary movie. And, given that it's a horror film, that means it's a good one.
| Original Score: 4/5
[Director Scott Derrickson finds] new ways to frame the same rooms from one scene to the next and providing comic relief whenever the action threatens to turn monotonously grim.
The movie is full of feints, shocks and scenes of particularly perverse violence, but nothing about it is fresh enough to haunt you in the night. It's predictable.
In true horror movie tradition, characters do things that are head-scratchingly dumb. Once you accept those logic-defying moments, the movie works with diabolical effectiveness.
| Original Score: 3/4
Sinister' may make you jump at predictable intervals, but it never rattles your existential certainties the way truly subversive horror does.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
There's something smarter, and truly creepy-crawly, about the way this movie sneaks up on your ears.
That title is off the mark. Here's a better one: "Stupid."
An occult thriller that scares with an absolute relentlessness.
| Original Score: B+
"Sinister" is an undeniably scary movie, with performances adding enough human interest to give depth to the basic building blocks of horror.
I knew perfectly well, after a while, what Sinister was going to scare me with. But I got scared anyway.
| Original Score: B
Enjoyably edgy fright flick meshes serial-killer and haunted house ingredients.
Sinister is a joyless ride, and its frights are too contrived to be surprising, yet somewhere, stashed in the attic, is a much less foolish film with Hawke at its heart.
A proficient, rattling horror story.
This so-so, occasionally effective horror film combines found-footage creepiness and haunted-house scares - but is stronger on mood than story.
Your pants. Do you like having them scared off you? Then you and your pants will enjoy Sinister.
The scares are not just intense but unyielding in this compelling horror yarn from The Exorcism of Emily Rose director Scott Derrickson.