Sinister is a very dark film. It is unique because the tension in the movie never really dissipates. Most horror movies have an attention grabber in the beginning, and then they have a few scenes that lighten the mood throughout the film. Sinister takes a firm grip on your mind and then twists. At best lightening the mood in the movie is slightly loosening the grasp that it holds on you.
Ethan Hawke plays a true crime author who moves his family to a property where an unspeakable murder has taken place. His goal is to write a book about what happened and hopefully find evidence in order to solve the crime in the process.
The film has all of the necessary elements that a great scary movie possesses. It has a solid main character portrayed by a very capable actor. There are disturbing images, and spine chilling spookiness. A number of surprises are thrown into the mix to keep you on the edge of your seat and sometimes catapult you somewhat above that edge. The villain is totally wicked, and the movie will stay with you long after it actually ends.
Sinister is Ethan Hawke’s best movie since Lord of War (2005).
One thing that I did notice is that the film was a bit scarier on the big screen and obviously that will probably always be the case. When I watched it at home, it was not as horrifying as I remembered. I did not jump as much during the jumpy scenes. This was not because I knew that they were coming, I just think that it was because the film was tailor-made for a larger screen. If you are going to watch it, then watch it on the biggest screen in your house, preferably at night and with the lights off to get the full effect.
Sinister means suggesting or threatening evil. The title fits the film like a glove. Although the movie was very well-made, it was hard to like it more than I did because of the subject matter. It is the best scary movie that I have seen in a long time.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
If you liked Sinister (2012), then you will probably like The Purge (2013).