Sinister Review

Image for Sinister

A cynical hack writer moves his family to a house with a dark history, and is forced to face up to the supernatural.


Crime writer Ellison (Ethan Hawke) moves into a house to research a book about a mass hanging, without telling his wife (Juliet Rylance) or children that they’re living in a crime scene. Home movies found in the attic suggest a serial killer — or supernatural force — is responsible for the atrocities. Sinister see-saws between crime mystery and spooky stuff, as the slightly unhinged hero gets deeper into a puzzle that poses a threat to him and his family. Well-acted, reasonably paced and intriguing, this mid-list shocker from writer-director Scott Derrickson is nothing new, but delivers enough subtle creeps to get by.

Derrickson bounces back from his insipid redo of The Day The Earth Stood Still with an effective chiller that's got a skeleton or two in its closet.