The friend I went to see Sinister with thought it was pretty much the stupidest movie of the year. I didn't hate it as much as all that but I do wish I'd enjoyed it more than I did.
Sinister has moments of genuine creepiness but they are few and far between, because the director or editor or composer decided creepy moments are useless without being drowned out by an infinite series of jump scares.
Good job, movie, you startled me. Too bad you didn't scare me at all.
Ethan Hawke plays a writer who movies his family into the home / crime scene he's writing about. Four members of a family of five were hung in the backyard in an admittedly ingenious way (it's actually the first thing shown in the movie; the family were tied up with nooses around their necks, which were attached to a tree branch, which had a sawing mechanism attached to it. When the branch was sawn through, it fell and hung the family) and the fifth member of the family went missing.
Ethan Hawke is keeping it a secret from his family that they've moved into the murder house (and the tree, broken branch and all, is still standing in the backyard; I honestly doubt they'd leave that tree up if they were reselling the house) and he finds in the attic a box of home movies labeled "Family Hanging Out," "Barbecue," "Pool Party," "Sleepy Time" and "Lawn Work."
Golly, I wonder what those could be.
Okay, this begins the first in a series of illogical actions on behalf of the lead character. When he sees how Family Hanging Out ends, he not only watches it again, but watches all the other videos, too. Why the hell would he do that?
And if the power in my house suddenly went out and then I thought I heard footsteps coming from the attic, you know what I would do? Either read by flashlight or go to bed. Same things I do when the power goes out and I don't hear footsteps in the attic. You know why? Power outages are creepy and they make me tired and the hell with them, I'm not doing anything. If there are weird noises, I'll investigate them during the day when the sun is up and it's bright out.
That isn't a jaded horror movie fan talking, by the way, it's a full on coward.
Anyway, yeah, several jump scares, blatantly obvious plot clues and a couple uncredited cameos by Vincent D'Onofrio on Google Chat later, the movie gets to its conclusion which, honestly, would have given me the creeps if I wasn't so busy giggling at it.
Take from that what you will.
End of line.