Sinister is a 2012 British American supernatural horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. It stars Ethan Hawke as fictional true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt who discovers a box of home movies in his attic that puts his family in danger.
The film, a co-production between the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, premiered at the SXSW festival, and was released in the United States on October 12, 2012, and in the UK on October 5, 2012.
A sequel, Sinister 2, was released in the United States on August 21, 2015.
The film opens with Super 8 footage depicting a family of four standing beneath a tree with sacks over their heads and nooses around their necks. An unseen figure pulls at a rope attached to a partially sawed-through branch of the tree, causing their deaths by hanging.
Months later, true crime writer Ellison Oswalt (Hawke) moves into a home with his wife Tracy (Juliet Rylance) and their two children: 7-year-old Ashley (Clare Foley), an artist who is allowed to paint on her walls and 12-year-old Trevor (Michael Hall D’Addario), who suffers from night terrors. The local sheriff pays a visit, indicating his dislike of Ellison and his career; his books have often criticized law enforcement for mistakes. The tree with the partially sawed-through branch comes into view, revealing that this house is the one where the Stevenson family was murdered in the opening scene.
Ellison intends to use the case of the murdered family as the basis for his new book and hopes that his research will reveal the fate of the Stevenson family’s fifth member, a 10-year-old girl named Stephanie who disappeared following the murders. Later that night Ellison discovers Trevor in a box, naked and screaming, having experienced another night terror.
Ellison finds a box (along with a black scorpion which terrifies him) in the attic that contains a projector and several reels of Super 8 mm footage that are each labeled as innocent home movies. Ellison discovers that the films are actually snuff films depicting different families being murdered in various ways by an unseen person holding the camera. A mysterious symbol appears in the films.
Consulting a local deputy (James Ransone), Ellison discovers that the murders took place at different times, beginning in the 1960s and in different cities across the country. He also learns that a child from each family went missing following every murder.
The deputy refers Ellison to Professor Jonas (Vincent D’Onofrio), whose expertise is the occult, to decipher the symbol in the films. Jonas tells Ellison that such symbols are that of a Pagan Babylonia deity named Bughuul (Nick King), who would kill entire families and then take one of their children in order to consume his/her soul, leaving the symbol behind.
Source Page – Wikipedia