INSIDIOUS vs SINISTER is a nice study in contrasts. Ostensibly both films claim the same creative DNA, however INSIDIOUS is full stop one of the best and most effective horror movies I’ve seen in years, INSIDIOUS director James Wan at the height of his considerable powers; while SINISTER director/writer duo of Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill craft a film that is inept to the point of ridicule.
Star of SINISTER, Ethan Hawkes continues his streak of being (for me) an actor to avoid, in movies to avoid. But in his partial defense the brain-dead story-arc he is given to follow would keep any actor from performing credibly [SPOILERS: But honestly this film is too rotten to spoil any worse :). But here is what passes for a plot. A seeming serial killer leaves evidence of his slaughters in the home of his latest victims, the home the protagonist decides to buy, and not only does this protagonist, a failing true-crime writer, think it is feasible to keep evidence of mass murder from the police, he also thinks nothing of keeping his family in a house that there is all evidence said mass-murderer will return to. Like I said with a plot like that, it arrives spoiled. :)]
Just slap “insult to intelligence” on this film and move on.
SINISTER goes beyond stupid, to really being an insult to the viewer’s wit, and a waste of the viewer’s time. And on top of that the direction is so uninspired and tepid, the scenes with the prancing children shushing people look like the rushes of a bad home movie, impossible to take seriously, or be anything but silly.
Final Verdict: Stick with INSIDIOUS and avoid SINISTER!