Sinister (2012) Review

I remember wanting to see this because it looked terrifying. Trailer was fantastic and I like Ethan Hawke. Sadly I found the majority of the film boring and to say the least predictable. Disappointing but at least I didn’t go to cinema to see it. The story was ok but never wowed me. The acting was pretty good but the characters where stupid and boring. I can remember very few lines of dialogue but there was hysterical line from Hawke. Shocks and loud noises make me jump but don’t scare me, if you don’t add to that you get a low score. The style and sound was good. The visuals though where weak, took me right out of the film, must have gotten some kids off the street and told them to walk around Ethan Hawke in old cloths. Massive disappointment let’s move on.

Sinister - Banner

True-crime writer Ellison Oswalt moves himself and his family into a house where an horrific crime took place earlier, but his family doesn’t know. He is trying to find out more about the crime so he can write a new book about it to help his flailing career. He uses some “snuff” film footage he finds in the house to help in his research, but he soon finds more than he bargained for. There is a figure in each of the films, but who or what is it? As a result, his family start to suffer (as does he), and things take a turn for the worse. Will they survive?

Tim’s Film Reviews Maybe Recommended

Story: 60%       Acting: 75%      Characters: 50%      Dialogue: 65%

Horror/Thrill: 25%      Style/Sound: 60%      Visuals: 40%

Total: 53%

Sinister - Poster

The story is alright but I felt they could do more with a soul stealing demon that targets children. It’s a scary idea but the film never scared me when it came to the story. The acting was good but I cannot relate to these characters, if you can get away in a horror situation but choose not to you are an idiot and I just don’t care if you live or die. Actually it means you’re an idiot so I hope you die. I would have put a much lower score for the dialogue if it weren’t for one line during a fight between husband and wife, only part of the film I enjoyed, it’s also my favourite scene and I will say what it is later.

Sinister - Ethan Hawke Looking Over Evidence

You know a film isn’t going to be scary when they get the actors to whisper their lines and have low volume background noises and music. Why? Because they use the loud screeches and bang crashes to get people to jump in their seats. I don’t need you to test my reflexes. I would however like to be scared or thrilled by my horror films. Lazy writing and directing. The visuals where weak and could have been much better, and whilst most of the visuals where okay I didn’t see anything worth £5 from the effects. The Evil Dead had a couple of thousand to throw around; this had $3M that’s no excuse.

Must Watch Trailer:

The best reviews I found would be these “Relies more on “gotcha” moments than storytelling” Scott Bowles. “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. “Is it scary? Creepy is more like it. “Sinister” makes you feel uneasy, lulls you into sleepy mode and then slaps you with a couple of cheap scares” Paul Chambers. “If we define [“sinister”] as meaning, “ominous, forbidding, portending of doom,” the film starts well enough, with suggestions of dark and sinister events to come; but soon other words creep into mind: stolid, sluggish, tedious” Steve Biodrowski.

My favourite scene would have to be when Ellison and Tracy are fighting over them moving to a house where people had been murdered and Ethan Hawke delivered the best line that just made laugh like a lunatic. “No I said it never happen in the house…it happened in the backyard”

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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films!

48 responses to “Sinister (2012) Review”

  1. Last Road Reviews says :

    This looked ok I suppose, but as a whole I,avoid newer films.


    • Tim The Film Guy says :

      That’s a shame but understandable when we talk about horror films 😦


      • Last Road Reviews says :

        Film in general. Since the Michael Bay era I hate most action films. And even though I love Scream and writer Kevin Williamson one of my idols I hate how horror has gone.

        I also loved American Pie, but far too many comedies tried to up the ante on shock value and felt forced. A good portion of my viewings either it be repeated viewings or first time, a good portion are 70s and 80s


  2. James says :

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who felt rather deflated after seeing this movie. It gave me a few chills and I thought the demon was rather unnerving to look at at times. My main problem was that it felt like it was building up to this intense showdown that never arrived, which meant I’d guessed the ending within the first five minutes. Having seen Insidious, I expected a lot more from this.


  3. adlibitur90 says :

    I was the same, I was totally looking forward to this but came away very disappointed. It had so much potential, I thought.


  4. mistylayne says :

    I still haven’t seen this but I think yours is the first negative review I’ve seen of it. Which is actually nice, makes me wonder when people do nothing but rave. 😉


    • Tim The Film Guy says :

      If the acting was bad this films score would be really bad. Glad I could give you a range of views, clearly I wouldn’t recommend it to a true horror fan. Bored me for the majority 😦

      Thanks for commenting 😀


  5. Victor De Leon says :

    Didn’t mind this film that much. I liked it a bit more than you did. 🙂 I thought it still had some mood and style even though it becomes a bit formulaic towards the end and I enjoyed the reveal. Great score too, scared the crap outta me. Especially the track that played during the BBQ sequence. Good post, Tim, like always!


  6. ruth says :

    I’ve been reading quite a polarizing views on this movie. Well the trailer itself spooked me so it’s unlikely that I’d watch it.


  7. Erik says :

    Good review! Surprisingly enough I quite enjoyed this one. Not the greatest horror ever made but in comparison to the the other crappy horrors that we get showered by every year it is sort of a triumph. lol


  8. Emma says :

    I still haven’t seen this. After dragging family and friends to one horror after the next for the past decade, they rebelled and said “No effin way, Emma – not this time.” So I missed out on seeing this on the big screen. Not too sad now though having read your review. I’ll get this on DVD.


  9. keith7198 says :

    I thought this was decent but nothing to write home about. It’s one of those that did some things right but that also used so many of the same gimmicks we’ve seen before. I don’t feel the need to rush out and see it again soon.


  10. Wordschat says :

    Finally someone has noticed the lack of Ethan Hawke’s wardrobe. They spent all their money on a script full oh holes thatwas plain hokey and had him wear one sweater throughout. This could have been a Stephen Kingish Misery type thriller, instead the misery is for us that saw it in the theatre.


  11. claratsi says :

    Not seen this even though I was going, but sounds a bit unoriginal by your review, I believe Insidious is the better movie?


  12. sidekickreviews says :

    I’m trying to think how many horror/thrillers movies have a writer as the protagonist? I guess writers find it easiest to write about writers.


  13. CMrok93 says :

    Good review Tim. Not the scariest horror movie in ages, but still pretty freaky and layered, whereas most other horror movies that have been coming out recently have just been very, very crappy and unoriginal. Glad to finally get a wake-up call and realize that hey, maybe horror movies can be good.


  14. filmhipster says :

    That’s too bad, I thought it was alright. I jumped a few times and really enjoyed the performances all around.

    The one thing I didn’t like is that they use a few of the same old scenarios you see in every horror. Family moves into a new house and it’s haunted. Someone gets possessed, kids draw scary pictures…etc.


  15. knoxcarnabyoverstreet says :

    You know I actually saw this when it came out, and just never ended up reviewing it, but most of what I would have said you’ve graciously taken care of here. 😀 I agree with a scary movie and its gotcha moments. So many rely on that and not something that lasts afterward, something that really “scares” you. Man! Come on horror films!


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