Rated 3.0

Sinister: Ethan Hawke, who did a great job looking scared in movies like Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and Training Day, gets to put his awesome hyperventilating on display in this sometimes very spooky demon-in-the-house yarn. Hawke plays a nonfiction writer long past his last hit who moves his family into a house where the prior family met their death hanging from their necks in the backyard. He finds some home movies in the attic, which turn out to be snuff films, and, rather than calling the cops, watches them as research. He soon discovers an evil force is after his family’s children, and he perhaps should’ve chosen a house where people didn’t die in the backyard or leave snuff films in the attic. And, like most horror movie idiots, he sticks around while very bad things happen. The movie has some bad performances from supporting players, but Hawke anchors it well. Much, much scarier than any Paranormal Activity movie.