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post #1 of 17 Old 02-12-2013, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
90





Studio and Year: Summit Entertainment - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 110 minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Dalton Thompson, James Rasone, Clare Foley, Michael Hall D’Addario
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Music by: Christopher Young
Written by: Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 19, 2013







"Once you see him, nothing can save you"


Film Synopsis:

Ten years ago, true crime writer Ellison Oswald (Hawke) made his reputation with a best-selling account of a notorious murder. Now, desperate to replicate the success of his first book, he moves his family into a home where the previous occupants were brutally executed and a child disappeared, hoping to find inspiration in the crime scene. In the home, Ellison discovers a cache of terrifying home movies, unwittingly opening the door into a nightmarish mystery.


My Take:

Sinister revolves around Ellison Oswald a true crime author that blindly stumbles upon an age old evil/mystery that begins with the discovery of a box he finds in the attic of the home they just moved into. The box contains an old projector and several reels of 8mm “home movies” containing five separate labels/dates dating back to the mid nineteen sixties (one in each decade) through to 2011. He is terrified to discover while watching that each is a snuff film depicting families being murdered, each in a different manner. The 2011 incident having taken place in the home he has just moved into.

Smelling a great story for his book he continues to examine the films searching for clues as to the identities/locations of the families when he notices a demonic figure in one of them. Closer examination of each reveals the same presence. As Ellison presses further in attempts to understand what he is seeing and why things within his home begin to take an ominous turn. He soon learns the truth about the murders, the victims and the evil he fears he may have now unleashed on his family. If he is to protect his family Ellison must come to understand the significance found in the missing members from each murdered family as well as the portentous terror that ultimately lies in store...

As a fan of the genre I enjoy a good scare and judging from the trailer for Sinister looked forward to its plot about a writer that moves his family to a new town/house only to find them threatened by an evil living within. These days it’s pretty tough to come up with new concepts to spin these types of plots around and here we don’t get anything new. What we do get is a narrative that borrows from other popular horror films and the combination comes together fairly well although clichés abound. I couldn’t help but be reminded of The Ring with the found footage snuff movies and trying to piece it all together. From a conceptual standpoint I thought the film worked well. There are a couple of decent jump scares and occasionally the building of suspense coincided nicely with them.

I think where Sinister comes up short for me is in the elements of horror. It fails to connect to the real significant portent of evil, namely the demonic entity, which left him much less of a fear factor. What you are left with is more creepy horror with elements of mystery as opposed to the type that raises the hairs on the back of your neck leaving you lying awake a night. It should be noted that my wife and teenaged son found it scarier than I did so perhaps your mileage may vary. Either way it was an enjoyable watch that effectively drew us in and occasionally elicited a pulse raising reaction.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for disturbing violent images and some terror.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


Sinister comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.5 Mbps.

This film utilizes a stylized design that is meant to create a visual aesthetic that supports its thematic elements. The predominating palette is limited with little chromatic saturation which results in a sort of muted sepia. Blacks are deep, with appreciable gradations and dynamic highlights that surface when onscreen with mixed light/dark content. This is a predominantly dark film that contains many sequences shot in low lit environs and natural lighting. While there is some loss of visibility in dark backgrounds contrast and brightness levels aren’t overdriven and work in tandem to preserve detail in dark and light elements onscreen. The applied filtering and cinematography have an effect on perceived resolution however images onscreen appear lucid and sharp. Close ups reveal lots of fine detail in the faces, hair and clothing worn by the cast members. Long range shots aren’t resolved quite as well but appear dimensionally satisfying. This is an excellent high definition presentation that is revealing of the high production elements used in the film.

I think this is a well designed lossless audio presentation that plays well to the film’s thematic tone. It effectively uses the entire sound field to elicit reaction to sounds emanating from differing vantage points and off screen cues. The soundtrack’s recorded elements are enhanced by its rich clarity, and punchy dynamics that resonate through the room with tangible authority. Dialogue through the center channel is crystal clear and maintains a position of prominence within the front soundstage. The rear channels contain a mixture of spatial ambience as well as directional panning cues that effectively correlate with the events transpiring onscreen. This surround mix capably handles the subtle intricacies thrown at by this soundtrack as it augments the elements of fright in this purposefully creepy film.


Bonus Features:

  • Audio commentary with director Scott Derrickson

  • Audio commentary with writers Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill

  • (HD) Living in a house of death – 11 minute documentary

  • (HD) True Crime Authors – 9 minute documentary

  • (HD) Deleted scenes with optional director commentary – 5 minutes

  • Digital Copy

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy



Final Thoughts:

Sinister is a contrived but effective genre entry that could have benefited from a deeper script. It has its moments and depending on what scares you might leave you thinking about it after the lights go out. It comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, involving 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio sound and a lackluster supplemental package that is highlighted by a pair of filmmaker commentary tracks. Sinister is a worthwhile rental on a dark rainy evening when the wind is blowing and the house is creaking. Don’t forget the popcorn!





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 17 Old 02-12-2013, 03:57 PM
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Thanks Ralph! Sounds like about what I expected. Worth a rent but not a movie ticket or blind buy. Original horror is a dish that seems to be only served from non-US sources these days. If you can work a region B locked title into your schedule take a look at Inbred... sick and fun.

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post #3 of 17 Old 02-19-2013, 09:59 AM
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I'll give it a look even though so many horror movies are by the book with cheap scares..ie..a quiet moment, then a real loud one, or they are extremely predictable as in "House At The End of the Street". I know from experience that original horror is shelved for safer conventional horror..sorry babbling..It's up for this weekend! Thanks Ralph (Beasts..yet?) cool.gif.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-19-2013, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacco View Post

I'll give it a look even though so many horror movies are by the book with cheap scares..ie..a quiet moment, then a real loud one, or they are extremely predictable as in "House At The End of the Street". I know from experience that original horror is shelved for safer conventional horror..sorry babbling..It's up for this weekend! Thanks Ralph (Beasts..yet?) cool.gif.

Greetings,

Beasts?


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post #5 of 17 Old 02-19-2013, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Beasts?

Probabky referring to the BD release of "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

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post #6 of 17 Old 02-19-2013, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post



Probabky referring to the BD release of "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

Greetings,

Gotcha. I didn't receive it for review unfortunately however I plan on adding it to my collection. Time permitting I will put a review together. smile.gif


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post #7 of 17 Old 02-19-2013, 12:49 PM
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Well I do apologize as I don't like to stray from the given topic but yeah, I wondered if you had seen Beasts of the Southern Wild and the fact that you'll add it to your library too is a 'nuff said" for me...back to Sinister as I'm always looking for a good thrill/scare but they're hard to find!.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-21-2013, 10:13 PM
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Ok, this was a bit of a let down. I'd give it 2 lazy hollywood zombies. The biggest problems with this film (aside from the plot holes) is really the lack of vision. We have a investigation/ghost hunt via found footage, okay been there done that but the nature and purpose of the demonic entity totally could have saved it from being another failed Hollywood jump/scare flick. Unfortunately, it failed on all accounts to make use of the great tools it had. Time for spoilers:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Okay, so aside from the fact that he is seeing demons pull him down he does't check on his son or move his fam to his wife's mothers house or something while he finishes the book? The murders start in the 1960's but the demon is centuries old, what's the connection to the super 8's prior to the super 8's, where are the other children, why do all the children seem to have similar levels of decay if their should have been consumed at the same rate and they were taken several years apart, why can a grown man tied up not out wit a 7 year old barely strong enough to lift an axe, why is this rated R, why am I still watching this instead of Duck Dynasty? The prime elements have all been done before... found footage, creepy face images, jump scares, bad guy wins endings, but they had something unique with the demonic entity that they never capitalized on. The nature and purpose of this spirit had almost limitless possibilities to explore but instead of diving deep into some super scary shyte, we get goofy kids in makeup following the lead character through the house for reasons never explained. Ok, maybe this deserves 1 1/2 stars but it did have some good things with the demons background

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post #9 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 09:50 AM
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This one scared the $hit out of me! eek.gif I decided to pop this in at 11pm last night, ALONE with nobody else in the house. Watching it late at night like this, ALONE and with the sound cranked up to reference levels really amped up the tension, horror and suspense. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Anytime he woke up at night and started roaming the house had me on the edge of my seat, especially when he would wake up to the projector running!

The LFE felt like its own character in the film and was used very well I thought. Some nice discrete sound effects as well that had me pause the movie a few times trying to figure out if what I was hearing was coming from the film or something upstairs in my own home. The general darkness of the transfer during the night scenes really boosted the mood as well I thought and worked very well. I enjoyed it and just glad I came out alive! tongue.gif

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post

This one scared the $hit out of me! eek.gif I decided to pop this in at 11pm last night, ALONE with nobody else in the house. Watching it late at night like this, ALONE and with the sound cranked up to reference levels really amped up the tension, horror and suspense. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Anytime he woke up at night and started roaming the house had me on the edge of my seat, especially when he would wake up to the projector running!

The LFE felt like its own character in the film and was used very well I thought. Some nice discrete sound effects as well that had me pause the movie a few times trying to figure out if what I was hearing was coming from the film or something upstairs in my own home. The general darkness of the transfer during the night scenes really boosted the mood as well I thought and worked very well. I enjoyed it and just glad I came out alive! tongue.gif

Greetings,

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Glad to hear you survived Todd! smile.gif


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post #11 of 17 Old 02-25-2013, 04:10 AM
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This one was much better then I thought. Both my daughters, who are teenagers, were so freaked out they left half way through the movie. My wife and I finished it out. I thought the story was very solid for this genre. The video was very good as well as the audio. I enjoyed it.
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post #12 of 17 Old 02-25-2013, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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This one was much better then I thought. Both my daughters, who are teenagers, were so freaked out they left half way through the movie. My wife and I finished it out. I thought the story was very solid for this genre. The video was very good as well as the audio. I enjoyed it.

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Glad to hear it Frohlich. Thanks for posting your impressions.. smile.gif


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post #13 of 17 Old 02-25-2013, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by General Kenobi View Post

Ok, this was a bit of a let down. I'd give it 2 lazy hollywood zombies. The biggest problems with this film (aside from the plot holes) is really the lack of vision. We have a investigation/ghost hunt via found footage, okay been there done that but the nature and purpose of the demonic entity totally could have saved it from being another failed Hollywood jump/scare flick. Unfortunately, it failed on all accounts to make use of the great tools it had. Time for spoilers:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Okay, so aside from the fact that he is seeing demons pull him down he does't check on his son or move his fam to his wife's mothers house or something while he finishes the book? The murders start in the 1960's but the demon is centuries old, what's the connection to the super 8's prior to the super 8's, where are the other children, why do all the children seem to have similar levels of decay if their should have been consumed at the same rate and they were taken several years apart, why can a grown man tied up not out wit a 7 year old barely strong enough to lift an axe, why is this rated R, why am I still watching this instead of Duck Dynasty? The prime elements have all been done before... found footage, creepy face images, jump scares, bad guy wins endings, but they had something unique with the demonic entity that they never capitalized on. The nature and purpose of this spirit had almost limitless possibilities to explore but instead of diving deep into some super scary shyte, we get goofy kids in makeup following the lead character through the house for reasons never explained. Ok, maybe this deserves 1 1/2 stars but it did have some good things with the demons background

I'd have to agree with you on pretty much all of that

Plus every single scene was pretty predictable. You knew when they were gonna try and scare and pretty much exactly how they would try as well. And the ending was soooooo predictable as well. I think I saw it coming maybe at least a half hour or so before it finally ended.

Despite all it had going against it was still a decent way to kill an a hour and a half or so. And I'd have to say that due to the acting. Ethan Hawke is alot of fun to watch when he starts getting all argumentative and freaking out like he does in some movies. biggrin.gif

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post #14 of 17 Old 02-27-2013, 11:04 PM
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Greetings Ralph ! good call on the some of "The"Ring" ques in the movie, the sound track was great for jump and goose bump factor and the room filling LFE track might be reference for its deep shuttering lows as it reminded me a lot of "The Haunting" I personally want to buy it but it had my wife up in arms because it really had her terrified !
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-03-2013, 02:14 AM
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without putting too much thought into the story line and for those that enjoy great scares with spooky sounds will enjoy this. I had a showing of this to some friends and everyone enjoyed it very much and were at the edge of their seats from the sound effects.
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-03-2013, 07:14 AM
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Well I was surprised by this one. Thought it'd be a run of the mill, but thought this had some serious creep factor. It had it's weak moments sure, but thought this one was a hell of a lot better than I thought. I think the ol' vintage stock film parts did it for me. Lawnmower scene freaked me out even thought I saw it comin.
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-03-2013, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Greetings Ralph ! good call on the some of "The"Ring" ques in the movie, the sound track was great for jump and goose bump factor and the room filling LFE track might be reference for its deep shuttering lows as it reminded me a lot of "The Haunting" I personally want to buy it but it had my wife up in arms because it really had her terrified !

Just got done watching with the wife (and daughter away with grand parents, haha) - totally agree with you on the sound track. It totally made the movie for me and kept things tense; yes, some areas were predictable, but still very fun!
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