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HD   R Closed Captioning AD

Scott Derrickson

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About the Movie

True crime novelist Ellison Oswald (Ethan Hawke) is so desperate to repeat the success of his first book that he moves his family into a home that served as the setting of a brutal murder. But instead of inspiration, Ellison finds a box of mysterious home movies in the attic that seem to point to unspeakable terrors – ones that could threaten his entire family.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 134
  • Fresh: 84
  • Rotten: 50
  • Average Rating: 6.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: 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. – Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine, Oct 11, 2012

Fresh: As the best horror stories so often do, "Sinister" makes clear that we are our own boogeymen, the worst monsters of all. – Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, Oct 11, 2012

Fresh: 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. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Oct 11, 2012

Fresh: [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. – Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, Oct 11, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


When I first saw the trailers for "Sinister", it didn't look like anything special. Even the fact that it came from the producer of "Paranormal Activity" and "Insidious" was enough to make me roll my eyes. Nonetheless, one of my friends convinced me to see with him anyway, so I went along. And to my surprise, the film was a lot more enjoyable than I initially thought it would be. In fact, it ended up genuinely scaring me more often than not, which is rare for any fright flick to do nowadays. The movie stars Ethan Hawke as Elliott Oswald, a true crime novelist who's so desperate to repeat the huge success of his first book that he moves his wife and kids into a suburban house that once served as the setting of a brutal set of family murders. But instead of finding inspiration, Elliott discovers a box of mysterious home movies in the attic that seem to point out to all the unspeakable terrors that happened - ones that could easily threaten his entire family. Rather than mindlessly throw a bunch of random jump scares at the audience, the film slowly but smartly builds atmospheric tension and constantly keeps us guessing as to who caused the grisly murders and why they happened. The disturbing visuals also play a huge part in the bone-chilling quality of this flick. Whether it's the old, grainy Super 8 movies gruesomely detailing the murders of every family that previously lived in the house or the creepy images of Baghuul (the evil spirit terrorizing Elliott and his family), there's at least one visually haunting scene in this film that'll scare you silly. As for the cast, they aren't half bad. Hawke does a solid job committing to his role as the protagonist the entire time, and the child actors - Clare Foley and Michael Hall D'Addario - are just as impressive, if not more so. Although I'll admit I was somewhat overly annoyed by Hawke's wife in the movie (Juliet Rylance) simply due to her character's seemingly endless complaining. But I digress. Of course, "Sinister" does have its fair share of distracting flaws (uneven pacing and poor character development, to name a few), but the one most viewers may either end up feeling confused or satisfied about is the unexplained conclusion, which sort of sets itself up for a possible sequel in the future. Who knows? Anyway, if you're a fan of tense, atmospheric, bump-in-the-night fright flicks, "Sinister" is a terrific pick, despite the many suspense clichés it recycles. Sure, it may not be the most original horror movie you'll ever see, but you'll still have a fun time watching it.


The movie is pretty good, ilove horror movies and this one is definetly worth the classification.

Lost in the dark

Many scenes are done in almost complete darkness in a cheap effort to create suspense (who hears a noise and investigates without turning a single light on?) -- The film has a story but it isn't developed in a way to draw in the viewer and build up to a crescendo -- false subplots littered throughout (for example what is the purpose for the son having a history of extreme night terrors?) -- you begin to wonder how this story is going to be concluded when you notice 10 minutes left in the movie -- I think the writers were wondering as well so they hastily wrapped it up put a bow on it and hoped it would do -- upon reflection there really isnt much to this movie -- its main story could be told on one side of a cocktail napkin --