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3 Stars - Good
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Mpaa Rating
R (for disturbing violent images and some terror)
Directed By
Scott Derrickson
Run Time
1 hour 50 minutes
Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Dalton Thompson, James Ransone
Theatre Release
October 12, 2012 by Summit

They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters …

Sounds like a line from a horror movie, doesn't it? But it's from the Bible—Psalm 106:37-38, in fact. It also has all the makings—blood, sacrifices, demons—of a genre hit. And for Scott Derrickson, a devout Christian and writer-director of 2005's The Exorcism of Emily Rose, that might just be the case.

Ethan Hawke as Ellison Oswalt

Sinister is Derrickson's scary-as-hell new movie, a mix of the serial-killer, haunted house, and found footage takes on horror. It centers on an egotistical, once-successful-but-now struggling crime novelist named Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke in an utterly convincing performance). Oswalt is doing research for a new book about a house where a family was hanged from a tree, but one of the children went missing. So Oswalt packs up his wife and two young kids, despite their grudging submission, and moves into the house—without telling them of its creepy history. From the start, the headstrong Oswalt is clearly a selfish jerk, far more focused on his work than his family, and nothing will stand in the way of his pursuit of fame and fortune. And he's willing to sacrifice anything—everything—in that quest.

Upon moving into the new house, Oswalt finds a small box in the attic—yes, it's a horror movie, so he goes straight to the attic—with a projector and some Super 8 reels of film. These reels appear to be home videos, with the titles "Hanging Out," "Sleepy Time," "BBQ," "Pool Party," and "Lawn Work," but they turn out to be something ...

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