Sinister - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sinister Reviews

Page 1 of 274
October 19, 2016
Disturbing and chilling, "Sinister" breathes life into a genre that often misuses its chilling stories at hand.

A writer determined to make another hit story moves into a new house. Unbeknownst of the dangers that lie ahead, he stumbles onto a disturbing set of Super 8 tapes containing horrific videos and crimes. Determined to uncover the mystery, he digs deep into a case that is far out of his reach.

This movie has seemed to split critics and audience members alike. It seems like either you hate this movie or you love this movie. I rarely hear any in-betweeners. I've heard that this is the cheesiest movie ever, but I've also heard it's the most disturbing. In my opinion, this movie is definitely more toward the disturbing side.

My favorite thing about this movie is the story. I love the mystery aspect and there was clearly a lot of effort put into the story. It's so disturbing and chilling that it leaves goosebumps down my spine. I had so much fun uncovering the mystery behind the scenes and the legend of Bughuul was an effective nightmare.

The movie is actually pretty disturbing. It sets the tone from the opening scene and it never manages to lose sight of what it is. The Super 8 tapes aren't over done and they are more than effective. They are definitely graphic in their own right, but they never show too much or too little. The scares in this movie were fairly effective for the most part, save for a few meaningless jump scares.

I actually really enjoyed the dialogue and the interaction among characters seemed really genuine and real. Ethan Hawke is a great actor and he really brought his character to life. He brought the emotion and conflict to his character and he really added a lot to the movie. The screenplay was well written and was a solid effort by the cast and crew.

The cinematography was clear and very well shot. All of the shots looked very pristine and a lot of the shots were great tone setters for the film. I liked the lighting and the atmosphere, and this is certainly a movie you shouldn't watch alone at night.

In the end, "Sinister" is a well made and disturbing horror film. I was very thrilled by this film and it's definitely one of the more respected horror films made out there.
October 19, 2016
This is chilling and suspenseful, the story and direction are excellent, and Ethan Hawke is great.
½ October 16, 2016
A modern horror film that deals with a demon that is being mysteriously found in old videos Ethan Hawke's character found. You can piece this film together of what is going to happen rather quickly but I still really enjoyed it. I have heard the sequel is pretty bad, but Sinister itself is a solid watch.
½ October 9, 2016
Better the second time
October 2, 2016
I feel really alone but I fucking loved this film. This does what a horror movie is supposed to do: keeps us guessing on what is happening next, makes us want to watch more and makes us shit our pants-I LOVE THIS FILM!
September 30, 2016
8mm film in 2.35 format ratio ? come on !
September 3, 2016
So Boring. Not even scary....
August 30, 2016
Before it descends into unbecoming over-explanation that causes it to resemble the Guillermo Del Toro produced "Mama" more than the James Wan helmed "The Conjuring" in terms of great modern horror, 2012's "Sinister," co-written (with C. Robert Cargill) and directed by Scott Derrickson, is a mover and a shaker that derives unmistakable, unfiltered terror from its audience until it doesn't anymore.
It stars Ethan Hawke as Ellison Oswalt, a down-on-his luck writer who hasn't had a hit in more than a decade. True crime is his forte, but finding another story as subversively sordid as his last blockbuster has proven to be immensely difficult. "I'd rather cut my hands off than write a book for money," we witness him boasting in a press interview during his prime. But at this point, he's desperate for a little bit of green. His family is in the slums financially, and he'd do anything to discover his very own "In Cold Blood" styled tale and achieve notoriety again.
So he moves his clan to a welcoming house in the suburbs, much to the annoyance of his otherwise understanding wife (Juliet Rylance) and kids (Clare Foley and Michael Hall D'Addario). Ellison promises that their re-location is only temporary -- he's merely looking for some inspiration for his next #1 -- but his motivations are much darker than he lets on. Just months earlier, a family, the Stevensons, was simultaneously hanged in the backyard of their new home. The killer remains at large, and the youngest member of the murdered outlet, Stephanie, is missing. Ellison figures that getting as close as he can to the scene of the crime will rightfully win him back his former prosperity, even if he has to put his own family at risk in the process.
But only moments into "Sinister" does Ellison stumble upon a stack of Super 8 reels resting in the attic. Because any evidence is good evidence for a novel that's supposed to be revelatory, he pops them into a projector and sees where they take him. To his horror, each "home movie" in this box of treasures is a snuff movie, graphically showing various households being slaughtered in all sorts of nefarious ways. Dates range from 1966 to 2011 and an obvious pattern is murky. But Ellison is certain that he's struck gold for consuming reading material. Smile through the pains of such eerily understated titles as "Pool Party '66" to "Sleepy Time '98 and an immediate hit is surely inevitable.
Recklessness, however, is a trait that recurringly sets up the doom of horror movie characters -- karma always comes roaring back with vengeance, and to ignore pangs of common sense is to die. Recklessness is also the very thing that obstructs "Sinister" from unparalleled success. Since Ellison's ego knows no bounds -- the fact that he'd risk the lives of his family for fiscal accomplishment is deplorable -- he's a rather unlikable character, despite a solid portrayal by the dependably solid Hawke. And as "Sinister" is already far-reaching enough as it is, whether its ludicrousness is brought on by Ellison's being A-OK with living in a house decked out in snuff films or by the reality that when bumps in the night let themselves be known, no one bothers to turn on the lights as they stumble nervously through pitch-black hallways. The final nail in the coffin is the revealing just what the antagonist(s) looks like. Less is more, and showing too much can be inimical when it's not necessary to.
But for all its instances of bad judgment, "Sinister" is more bloodcurdling than it isn't -- the Super 8 shorts are terrifyingly shot, and as Hawke takes late-night trips to the attic night after night, with only a flashlight in hand, we're submerged in a kind of dread best exemplified by classics of "The Innocents's" state of mind. When a horror film's output is remarkable enough to inspire one to watch certain events behind their methodically placed hands, endless praise is the next place to go. Shame about its tonal blunders; several brilliant instances could have added up to something but are too individualistic to harmonize.
½ August 23, 2016
One of the few horror films that really disturbed me.
½ August 13, 2016
I felt this movie started off a little slow. The conversations between Ellison and Ashley (Dad and daughter) as well as Ellison and the Sherriff, at the beginning to "set the scene" feel very much like author intrusion. The information was important, but it could have been shared differently.

The build up of suspense over the course of the movie was really well done and there were moments of genuine turn-the-lights-back-on creepiness.

The ending was a true surprise, one that I wasn't sure if I liked at first, but the more I think about it, the more I can see that it was the perfect ending.
August 13, 2016
Very good. Creepy and very engaging.
½ August 5, 2016
Now this is one scary and disturbing film, probably the scariest I've watched since "Unfriended", released two years after. Of course, there are a lot of cliches in this movie, like false jumpscares and creecking doors, but only to bring us a solid and compitent horror movie, with good acting and an intriguing plot that will definitly make you piss your pants and make your skin crawl. Very atmospheric and just plain scary. Recommended !!
½ August 2, 2016
Offers a new fresh insight into the horror genre; the best thing since the original Paranormal Activity. With a superb performance from Hawke, a genuinely scary horror movie was the result.
Verdict: A
July 21, 2016
While it surely is an interesting movie, I did not enjoy it because it didnt scare me very much.
July 14, 2016
This is the story of man's hubris. Yes much more so than being a straight up horror film, this film is much more about a man and his pride. A pride that like many before him, would prove to be his undoing. Really is honest real life family drama and emotion put at the for front of a horror movie. The story unplays as you might expect, but Ethan Hawke is more than able to carry it completely.

The one thing I will say, is that the film is a bit too dark. Not content or tone wise, literally. During many scenes of him being alone at night in the attic or on the hallway, it was hard to tell what was happening at times. Maybe it was the copy I had, but I feel like maybe that was the point? If so, maybe make it just light enough for us to see what's happening okay?
½ July 12, 2016
A true crime writer has hit a slump in his career so when he finds a new case about a mysterious and disturbing family who was murdered, but their is a missing child from the family. When he discovers old tapes of similar murders involving a mysterious being, he realizes that living in the house may put his family in danger. Ethan Hawke is excellent, and both child actors give good performances as well. Sinister is a good mix of jump scares and horrifying imagery, as well as a chilling end to the film.
Super Reviewer
½ July 12, 2016
Hits an absurdly high number of horror clichés, but manages to do it in a pretty successful manner. Features many more laugh out moments than you might expect from a horror of this type. Not sure if that's a pro or a con.
½ July 11, 2016
I have hated most late 00's/10's horror movies, and for good reason. But not only did this movie genuinely fucking terrify me, it also was an extremely interesting, and well thought out movie, with convincing performances and an intriguing mystery. Sure, there's that whole "mysterious accidents cliche in a new house", but it still feels new with the way Scott Derrickson directed it. I enjoyed Ethan Hunt very much and the ending terrified me.
½ July 11, 2016
Truly a dark tale of how Sinister events can take a creepy and chilling toll on your family - Andrew Huynh
Page 1 of 274