The Grade Book: “Sinister”








Plot: An author tries to discover why a past family was murdered in his new home.

Director: Scott Derrickson.

Writers: C. Robert Cargill and Scott Derrickson.

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, and James Ransone.

Genre: Horror, Mystery.

Running Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes.

MPAA Rating: R.




SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: Sinister is occasionally cheesy and begins slowly, but it also features a great performance by Ethan Hawke and builds up a lot of tension — leading to some frightening moments. One of the best horror films of the year.



  • Christian Becker:

Grade: B+

A truly frightening, well-written horror film with an outstanding lead performance from Ethan Hawke. The tension builds up in every scene and it didn’t rely on jump scares to leave an impression on people, which is pretty rare today. It can’t help but fall into a few cliched and predictable moments, but they aren’t enough to take you out of or ruin the movie.

  • Joe Cauwel:

Grade: B+

The best scary movie you are going to get this Halloween. Disturbing images , and some great scares that sometimes verge on cheesy!

  • Chad Gleason (MovieManCHAD):


Grade: B

I wish it could have scared me, but I found it to be more interesting as a super natural character study of one man’s descent into madness. I also liked that it was centered in just one location — as it made me feel like I was watching what could of been a stage play.

  • Daniel Hollis:

Grade: B+

Surpassing general conventions of modern horror films and managing to create a slow, brooding thriller — using jump scares as an effective device to implant the strong imagery in your mind. Sinister is a movie that deserves your attention amongst the dry sloth of horror that hits multiplexes today.

  • James Michael Holtz (WeWatchedAMovie):

Grade: C+

Better acting then we usually get with our horror fair and a few shocking found footage moments. But all in all the heart of the story never felt like it really grew into what was promised. The slow burn has to lead us somewhere riveting and when the credits came up it felt like Sinister could have had more to offer.

  • Steven Hunt:

Grade: B+

After thinking it over, this is the best horror movie of the year. Yes, it has a good amount of scares, something many horror movies these days are missing, but what really made the movie for me was the fact that the acting and story were actually good for once. Ethan Hawke is great in this, and he really anchors the movie. There are some moments of cheese and not as many scares as there could have been, but still overall a solid horror movie.

  • Jake Peffer:

Grade: B+

One of the scariest movies of the year. Sinister goes for a more atmospheric tone rather than settling for jump scares and it works for the better. Ethan Hawke gives a great performance and the movie features some of the most disturbing images I’ve seen on film.

  • Austin Putnam:

Grade: B+

I haven’t this scared s***less while watching a horror film since I saw the original Paranormal Activity. Great acting from Ethan Hawke. Great jump scares that will burn images into your brain. It also has a strong visual look to it that makes it seem very spooky. A great horror film to watch on Halloween for sure.

  • Brandt Sohn:

Grade: B+

A slow burner that builds a creepy atmosphere which leads to one of the scarier second and thirds acts I have seen in the past few years. Ethan Hawke delivers a great performance and is believable in his role. The story is well written and downright chilling at times. A must-see this Halloween, and it is a breath of fresh air for fans of the genre.

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