From its first frame of a murdered family hanging from a tree, to the final shot of a ghostly apparition, "Sinister" will scare the pants off you. This unsettling movie is presented by the same people that brought us "Paranormal Activity" and the equally scary "Insidious."
The still youthful-looking Ethan Hawke plays true crime author Ellison Oswald, who moves his family into the house of a sinister murder. He keeps this a secret from his wife (Juliet Rylance) and their two precocious children. Oswald is adamant about writing a hit book about the crime.
When he discovers obligatory found footage camera reels depicting actual murders, Oswald realizes he's up against more than he bargained for. This is where the film gets its sinister edge: the snuff films are hard to watch and make for an uneasy viewing experience. The realism of "Sinister" and its documentary-style approach would normally be a cliché by now. Somehow it all works in this film.
"Sinister" isn't a movie to watch repeatedly. And oddly enough, the special features on the Blu-ray don't have interviews or behind-the-scenes footage to speak of, with the exception of 2 audio commentaries. One is with director Scott Derrickson and the other is with writers Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill.
"True Crime Authors" is a 6-minute feature that has interviews with crime writers and how they go about writing their real-life accounts.
The far superior featurette "Living in a House of Death" depicts a house in Iowa that was the site of a murdered family, obviously influencing the making of "Sinister."