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Sinister [DVD]
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on 24 November 2017
I enjoyed ‘Sinister 2’ so made the move to watch its prequel – to find I’d actually seen it before and had forgotten. I’m not sure what that says about me or the film. It doesn’t avoid what the sequel managed to avoid – the curse of the bratty kid. In fact, both children belonging to Ethan Hawke’s Ellison Oswalt are pretty obnoxious at times. As Bad Things happen, the children become more precocious. This is a difficult problem, and one that can actually ruin a film for me. Troubled children don’t have to be petulant, do they? Luckily, they don’t go on to play a huge part in the story.

Earning him the chagrin of the local constabulary, Oswalt moves into the house where previously, gruesome murders have taken place. Unfortunately, his wife and offspring are not told about this history. He has moved himself and the family here so he can research the horrific incidents for a book he is writing. He also finds an ally in Deputy ‘So & So’ (James Ransone), who is the one cast member to appear in the sequel.

‘Sinister’ is a fairly routine haunted house horror a couple of notches above the usual ‘family in peril’ fare, lifted by the performances of Hawke and Juliet Rylance as his English-but-American-speaking wife Tracy. It is somewhat overlong and slow-moving, but I don’t really have a problem with that. Oswalt trips down the familiar path of encroaching obsession and insanity, a descent sprinkled with the occasional ghost-faced child. The main villain, the gothic and spectral Bughuul, makes a fleeting appearance and is pretty menacing, making me wonder why the character isn’t used more.

I actually prefer the sequel. The production seems tighter and less traditional, as recompense for a lack of a ‘name’ lead. Both films have notable musical soundtracks; this deliciously dark OST is by Christopher Young.
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on 3 December 2017
Good movie.
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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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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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on 1 October 2017
The soundtrack and cinematography make for quite scary atmosphere most of the time. The story has been seen a illion times, but it's unfolded in a decent way. The actors are incredibly good, although the wife is so obvious a British theater actress it was distracting a few times (sometimes it is possible to put too much emotion into a scene).
It made me jump a few times and even scream in anothers. And I am very used to horror movies, so overall I'd recommend it for some popcorn night of spookiness.
Again, the soundtrack is just sublime... it gave me the creeps.
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on 14 November 2017
I was expecting more from this movie being from the same people who brought us insidious which I liked, however not a lot really happens until nearly an hour into the movie where you finally see a couple of the spirits in the house from the movie that he was watching earlier but is seen quite a lot of times throughout the film and which I got board with seeing numerous times , I would have liked things to start sooner than they did and not waste the time or so much time with setting things up or by the main character just watching movies and looking at pictures for the main part of the movie I was glad when the spirits did turn up but it was too little to late and when they did get into any action you didn't actually see it as the camera cut away as it does in a lot of modern movies and series . It was a shame as I really wanted to like this as I did with insidious, Ouija and the conjuring all of which I enjoyed unfortunately for this one it wasn't what I expected which was a real shame , I would not watch this film after the first viewing but there are a lot of films made these days that have over half the film with nothing happening and the last 20 minutes with a bit of something in the case of this film its about ten minutes at the end. Not recommended
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on 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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on 23 February 2013
'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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on 19 May 2017
A very disturbing movie that is quite chilling to watch, the home movies in the film sent shivers down my spine.
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on 3 June 2016
One of the better horror movies. I wonder sometimes if people watch this on their phone, or a tablet...some films need the amazing technology we have available in reproducing the sound track and effects which the engineers put a lot of hard work into placing it alongside a movie like this. It makes an amazing difference, and yes I'm lucky enough to have a super set up..and quite a few second rate films can be pushed up a notch by the background effects.. I thought the plot was good, the acting was good, and I would recommend this film ...turn it up..
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