Ellison Oswalt and his family, wife Tracey, son Trevor, and daughter Ashley, move into a home in Chatford, Pennsylvania. Unknown to the rest of the family Ellison chose this home due to its bloody history. The Stevenson family who lived there previously were all murdered except for the young daughter, named Stephanie who went missing, by hanging one night. Ellison hopes to write a new best-seller true crime story based on the mystery surrounding the family’s misfortune. While exploring the home Ellison discovers a box in the attic. Inside the box, he finds a scorpion, and a collection of Super 8 home films that are each labeled. The films depict heinous murders of different families committed by an off-camera killer. Each film’s content is related to the inconspicuous titles like “Pool Party ‘66” which shows the mass drowning of a family. As Ellison begins to link the films to various murders, he begins to piece together a reoccurring symbol in the films. Upon hearing strange noises from the attic Ellison discovers a film canister with a snake inside that contains a child’s drawings that depict one of the filmed murders. This drawing has the scene from the film drawn but also includes a figure that is labeled as “Mr. Boogie”. Ellison seeks help from an occult specialist named Professor Jonas who identifies the symbol as one that represents the pagan deity Bughuul. Bughuul was known to kill entire families and spirit away one of their children to feed from slowly. When strange occurrences begin to happen to the Oswalt family Ellison slowly begins to realize the supernatural forces at work have taken notice of his meddling and set their sights on him.
Sinister was a box office success with a gross of $87.7 million and a budget of only $3 million. Although the film sits with a 63% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes due to an overuse of generic horror tropes and jump scares. A 2020 study conducted by Broadband Choices named Sinister as the number one scariest film. This study used the BPM of viewers’ hearts to measure fear throughout the 50 highest-rated horror movies. If you find yourself craving more of the Sinister universe Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill created check out the 2015 sequel film Sinister 2.
As always, if you’ve seen the listed film, dislike the film, or just don’t believe you would like it we have provided a list of alternative choices for you to pick from: alternative-films-for-this-spooky-season