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Sinister (2012)

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Washed-up true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of super 8 home movies that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s.

Director:

Scott Derrickson
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926 ( 497)
3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ethan Hawke ... Ellison Oswalt
Juliet Rylance ... Tracy
Fred Dalton Thompson ... Sheriff
James Ransone ... Deputy
Michael Hall D'Addario ... Trevor
Clare Foley ... Ashley
Rob Riley Rob Riley ... E.M.T.
Tavis Smiley ... Anchor
Janet Zappala Janet Zappala ... Reporter
Victoria Leigh ... Stephanie
Cameron Ocasio ... BBQ Boy
Ethan Haberfield Ethan Haberfield ... Pool Party Boy
Danielle Kotch ... Lawn Girl
Blake Mizrahi ... Sleepy Time Boy
Nicholas King ... Bughuul / Mr. Boogie (as Nick King)
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Storyline

True-crime writer Ellison Oswalt moves himself and his family into a house where a horrific crime took place earlier, but his family doesn't know. He begins researching the crime so that 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 him 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 worst. Will they survive? Written by Michael Hallows Eve

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Be the first to see the year's most terrifying film. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent images and some terror | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Scott Derrickson Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,007,634, 14 October 2012

Gross USA:

$48,086,903

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$77,712,439
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter C. Robert Cargill admitted that the name of Ethan Hawkes' character, Ellison Oswalt, was inspired by author Harlan Ellison and comedian Patton Oswalt. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 30 mins) Ellison retrieves firewood from outdoors, where it is raining, and then proceeds to make a perfect, non-smokey fire. This is impossible given the humidity that would have seeped into the wood. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tracy: Just one box?
Ellison Oswalt: It's for my office. It's fragile.
Tracy: Sissy.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in A Haunted House 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Fragment #1
Written by Nicholas Triarchos
Performed by Accurst
Courtesy of Red Stream, Inc./Colflesh Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Grown men screaming in the theatre!
15 October 2012 | by mungfleshSee all my reviews

I saw this last night at the theatre. It's the scariest, most tense horror film I have seen on the big screen since I saw Candyman 20 years ago and it's probably the scariest film I have seen since I saw The Ring, on DVD, about 10 years ago.

Sinister's clever use of sound and its creepy music score, a-la Candyman, is its biggest asset. I say an Oscar is deserved for Christopher Young who has outdone himself with sublime arrangements which bring depth and real terror alongside the visuals.

By instilling fear from the outset and implying a dreadful fate to the protagonist (which the viewer is hoping can be avoided but ultimately knows is lurking at the end), Sinister takes its influence from The Ring and keeps the tension building throughout the movie. It becomes almost unbearable in places! Whilst it doesn't really avoid the standard horror clichés of the last decade, Sinister manages to retain just enough credibility to keep the fear simmering in the audience.

The film is not without its flaws though. You might find yourself shaking your head on the odd occasion and the story, whilst decent and played out with good tempo, treads the fine line between supernatural and reality and, in my opinion, gets it slightly wrong but it's not really enough to spoil the result.

My adrenaline levels, after watching this, kept me from sleeping for another 3 hours, so be warned. It's been a while since I heard grown men scream in the cinema ...


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