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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 31 July 2013
As a life long horror fan I am always searching for something that creeps me out. I am not into gratuitous blood and gore or over the top violence but really enjoy a genuinely creepy film.
I received two films for my recent birthday, this one and 'The Cabin In The Woods' which I watched first and thought was a load of tosh! After being disappointed with the first film, I put 'Sinister' in the player with an open mind, not expecting too much. This is probably the best way to view a film as hype usually leads to disappointment.
I have found that since starting a family I am not to comfortable with films involving children being harmed. My partner feels the same and bailed out after about 20 minutes, but I stuck with it and it turned out to be a really good and genuinely scary story, well acted all round and very well shot.
I wont go further into the plot but if you like films such as 'Stir of Echoes', 'Dead End', 'Session 9', 'Insidious', Paranormal Activity', 'Case 39' to name a few of my favorites then give this one a go. I will defiantly be keeping it for the collection, unlike 'Cabin in the Woods' which is heading for the charity shop!
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on 6 April 2014
Ethan Hawke holds his nerve as he uncovers a tale of murder, mystery and madness inducing terror.
The tension doesn't get to build as it grabs you by the throat from scene one and holds on until you hit the pause button to take a break.
If the family and their own breakdown had been elaborated upon I would have given the extra star and the movie could have supported an extra ten minutes to explore this, but Hawke holds us glued to the screen, dragging us along where common sense tells us otherwise.
Put the kids to bed, tuck them in very tight and watch Sinister alone in the dark. If alone you really are.
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on 31 October 2012
Finally a horror film that packs a punch and delivers on the hype.

Sinister is a very unsettling, disturbing and scary film.

From the very opening shot you know this film is going to be a ride. I found certain sequences in the movie extremely disturbing and some images were burned onto my subconscious memory long after the film had finished. This is a true horror film in the sense that there are a few jump scares but it does not rely on them which is refreshing and it is not a total gore-fest. It balances the two very well and delivers a very tense atmosphere with some harrowing images.

Ethan Hawke is good, he carries the film confidently as he delivers a very convincing performance. I happily watched him for the entire duration of the film and didn't find myself taken out of the film due to bad acting, which is rare in horror films nowadays.

The Blu Ray is good. Sharp images and some great moments for the surround sound. Not much to add.

This film successfully mixes the POV "Found Footage" style horror with the traditional narrative. Fans of the found footage genre will enjoy this but more importantly those who aren't fans of the genre might find this style works better for them as it blends both styles effectively.

I regard myself as a very hardened horror viewer and I am not easily scared...
When I got home after the cinema, I was spooked. I found myself closing my blinds and turning on all the lights.

Fresh horror, not exactly breaking new ground but it's a welcome change.
Not a particularly pleasant viewing, Sinister accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do.

Good, solid horror film.

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on 3 November 2013
Sinister is a well written and acted film from start to finish, which does not go for gross-out horror but good old build ups of suspense and scares, crafting an almost dark perpetual, yep - 'sinister' atmosphere throughout. Add some very creepy sound effects and music, and what you have is one of the best 'scare' movies for sometime. If you are watching on your own late at night be ready for a very sinister investigation into some very gruesome murders and be prepared for some very nerve-shredding scares throughout!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 August 2015
Most horror movies, be they British or American in this case, obviously try to be creepy, but so many entries in this hit-and-miss genre have failed in being so. This was definitely not the case of the much hyped 'Sinister' however, because this 2012 film really is creepy.

Husband, father and struggling true-crime writer Ellison (Ethan Hawke) relocates his family, unbeknown to them, to a house where a multiple killing took place, an entire family who were hung to be exact. Whilst researching the crime for his next book, Ellison uses some "snuff" film footage which he finds inside of the house to help him with his research. As he becomes closer to finding out about a serial killer whose career dates back to the 1960s, he also becomes closer to putting himself, along with his wife and children into real danger.

'Sinister' is beautifully filmed, complete with dark corners, and the characters are shot with wide and broad backgrounds, always making the viewer expect to be see something walking past, or to be stood there in the shadows. The acting is superb, even from the child actors, and especially from Ethan Hawke, an actor of whom I plan to discover more of his work. The soundtrack is perfect, with background music which is not only appropriately eerie, but also most unique. The suspense is rather slow, but very tense as this one builds up, and there are also a few good jump-scares thrown in along the way.

Whilst I am certainly not a fan of 'found-footage' films, I must say that this one is different, as the footage is absolutely necessary to the story, and wouldn't have worked so well without it. If you are looking for a good horror or even just a suspenseful movie, then 'Sinister' is worth owning. This is a good story with very colourful characters, all of whom are very true to life.
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'ellison' and his family have a new home.
he is seeking inspiration for his new book.
early on he comes across a box in the attic which contains several
reels of home-movies and a projector,
the films show graphic images of a series of killings in seperate
locations including at the house they now call home, 'ellison' trys to
find a link between them.
with things that go bump in the night and images designed to startle
along with much in the way of tension.............the film will allmost
certainly hold your attention,---if yer still breathing that is.
better than many films of this type i've seen in recent times.
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VINE VOICEon 21 February 2013
Sinister tells the story of a crime writer who moves his family into a house that turns out to be the scene of a brutal murder of the previous family. The locals including the sherriff don't want them there and it soon becomes clear that there is something very wrong with the house and an evil sinister prescence is lurking. A slow but tense and creepy build up, excellent performances especially from Ethan Hawke in the lead role builds up into a genuinely terrifying film and an instant horror classic.
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on 19 February 2013
I like the way this movie unfolds.It's creepy with a suitably sinister score and looks & sounds great.One to watch horror fans.
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on 18 March 2013
A successfully creepy little chiller that does well to build a sense of dread throughout the story without resulting in too many clichéd jumps. Ellison, played by Ethan Hawke, moves his family into a house that had been the scene of a horrific family murder and abduction of a child, unbeknownst to his wife and children.

Ellison writes books unravelling unresolved murders. Suffice to say he tends to get quite involved in these cases and this can have a dramatic effect on his family. His son suffers from horrendous nightmares and is often found in unusual places around the house. It is situations like this that helps to un-nerve you as a viewer as you never feel at ease.

Ellison finds a box of home movies which reveal several different families in different homes each meeting ever nastier ends. Little clues start to come to light and he starts wondering why the police missed this and what was actually going on at the time of the murders.

Saying any more would give away too much of the plot but there are some neat little plot points to throw you off the scent and a revelation at the end that for once feels a little more original than most films like this.

What is refreshing is that for once the person moving into the house knows what happened there, albeit he keeps it quiet from his family. Therefore there is no mess around with the characters trying to piece together what happened and when whilst other locals drop annoying hints!

The film has a couple of effective shock moments that will get the heart beating and the story is always entertaining. Ethan Hawke is also engaging in a way that makes you root for him.

There are a few problems though. The deputy who decides to help Ellison in his enquiries is pretty annoying. It's a failed attempt to inject some humour which to be honest doesn't sit right with the tone of the film and runs the risk of derailing the film completely. Also Ellison's family don't have much to do and are just there to react to his mood swings.

This isn't enough to ruin the film though and there is much to enjoy. For a creepy mystery thriller there are certainly worse examples out there.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 March 2013
Sinister follows true crime writer Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke), whose best seller novel was 10 years ago, now a distant memory for only his ardent of fans & many mortgages since. Looking to revive his carer, he stumbles across a case about a family that was murdered under brutal circumstances & one of the children gone missing. As the movie starts, we enter where Ellison is moving his family, unknown to them, into the home of the latest victims for him to investigate & get closer to the case. As he finds himself on the verge of a breakthrough, he realises that this is no ordinary case & that he has stumbled into something more sinister than he realised, putting himself & his own family in great danger.

Overall, Sinister is a good horror film, the story was well written & it engrossed us just as it did the main character Ellison, as he delved deeper & connected the dots, becoming wrapped up in the case. We couldn't wait to see what happened next. Being a horror film you'd expect there to be a few bumps in the night, and it usually take's something special to make us jump off our chairs in this genre, so we were expectant. Happily though , Sinister managed to do it on more than one occasion, with it's eerie camera work & audio, mixed in with the stories content. The only slight downside to this movie, was the ending really. After the great build up all the way through the film, we expected something amazing to finish it, but it felt, not anticlimactic as such, but, rushed, left open ended, no closure. The only reason i can think of to do this, is that possibly they want to lead Sinister into a movie franchise.

On the acting front, Ethan Hawke (Training Day) was great as the lead, carrying the film well as the under pressure author who has to contend with family life, while trying to keep it together as he finds out gruesome details that push him to breaking point. Successful British theatre actress, Juliet Rylance, put in a decent performance as Ellison's wife (in one her few film nods), but it was obvious to see her inexperience infront of the camera in places. Hopefully with more movie work, she will be one to watch. The children played by Michael Hall D'Addario (People Like Us) & Calre Foley(Win Win) were very good indeed, and in general they all had a good believable rapport as a family.

In conclusion, Sinister is a good horror movie that's only marred by a love/hate ending. I'm sure there will be a sequel. Recommended.
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