The storyline to Sinister in a nutshell: Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) had a bestseller and since then, he tries to get back into the spotlight. The theme is true crimes. Seeking inspiration, he and his family move from one scene of the crime to the next. IN the search of the next hot story, the family move to a small hose in a town, where a whole family was slaughtered and the daughter is still missing. AS his son is rued by nightly horrors -a type of nightmarish sleepwalking-, his daughter sees ghosts and his wife is at the end of her nerves. Oswalt finds old 8-tracks from the attic and they hold the filming of the mass murder of the previous inhabitants as well as other families -each of which left a child missing. With the help of a dopey township police officer -who is torn between responsibility and drive for repute- they go through the happenings and follow the trail. The end is not difficult to figure out.
So, to the critic: The film happily uses all of the tricks and moves the genre has to offer in order to build the fable. there were lots of cheap tricks, like slam-the-door-to-scare-everyone and I needed three coffees to hold through. The acting capabilities of Hawke is horrible in this movie. The most irritating aspect was him overacting every possible emotion there was -something usually only seen in German soap operas. The acting of the supporting roles were just as bad. Where do they find these people? Of course, if the script is horrible, the actors cannot make wonders out of it, but even if it were good, the actors would have screwed it up any how.