Skip to main content

The Sacrament

The Sacrament
2013
Directed By Ti West
 
 

If you are not familiar with the story of the Jonestown massacre don't read this review. The Peoples Temple were direct inspiration for Ti Wests latest film The Sacrament.

This is the second found footage horror film that I have seen in the last week and I loved both of them. I had convinced myself that there was no life remaining in the found footage concept but Bobcat Golthwait and Ti West have shown me that I was way off. Before the opening scene of The Sacrament title cards give a brief explanation of the Vice multimedia company. Vice is a company that is known for “covering provocative & controversial stories” that are normally “overlooked in the mainstream media” and the type of journalism they practice is known as “immersionism.” In the opening scene of The Sacrament we are introduced to Sam Turner and Patrick Carter. Sam is a journalist from from Vice and Patrick is a photographer whose sister Caroline disappeared after attending a sober living facility in Mississippi. After months of no word from Caroline, Patrick receives a letter in the mail from. In the letter Caroline explains that she has been busy building a community where she can live as God intended and that despite being happier than she has ever been she misses Patrick. No forwarding address is included, just a phone number. Patrick calls the number and it leads him to a man who explains that his sister has moved out of the country with the rest of the community. The man will not give him the exact location of the community, just the place where he can land a plane to meet up with a helicopter who will take him the rest of the way.

If you are familiar with The Peoples Temple this sounds a bit familiar and you might have an idea of where this story is heading. The brilliance of Ti West is how slowly he ratchets up the tension. How he sprinkles in little touches that create an increasing sense of anxiety. The film never slows down to let you catch up or breathe, it just slowly builds on itself until it has become complete chaos. Even though I had a good idea of exactly where this film was taking me, it was still a powerful and draining experience. The roller coaster analogy is completely over used but that is the first thing that comes to mind when I try to explain this movie. Not really the experience of watching the movie but having fore knowledge of what might happen. When you stand in line at an amusement park and watch the ride, when you hear people screaming at the same places over and over you think you have an idea of what the ride will be like. But, you are not prepared for the the ride at all. In fact having an idea of where it's going has built in more anticipation and added to the thrill of getting in that seat and giving yourself over to the experience. Sorry about the hacky analogy but I just want to assure you that having an idea of where this film is leading you will not prepare you for the experience of witnessing it. Writing this and thinking about the events of the film has given me sweaty palms and an ill at ease feeling all over again.

The Sacrament is a well made thriller/horror about blind faith. I'm not sure that anything is scarier than
people who believe without question, people who are so desperate for an answer that they will ignore all warning signs because they refuse to live in a world where they have not found the answer.

The Sacrament is playing in limited release and available on VOD. 
 
 
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Richard Armitage interview on SLEEPWALKER

SLEEPWALKER is the latest film from director Elliott Lester. Troubled by bouts of sleepwalking and disturbing nightmares, graduate student Sarah Foster goes to her university's sleep research center for help. When she wakes up after her first night of being monitored, the world she lives in seems to have changed in subtle, Twilight-Zone-esque ways. In fact, every time she goes to sleep now, she wakes up in a slightly different version of her world. With the help of sleep researcher Dr. Scott White, she tries to work her way back to the reality she started in. But when they finally succeed, it’s revealed that Sarah’s world is not what she thought at all.

Today my guest is one of the stars SLEEPWALKER, Richard Armitage. Tonight we talk about his work on that film as well as his work as Thorin Oakenshiled in The Hobbit Films, as John Proctor in The Crucible, and his upcoming films Ocens 8 and the Julie Delpy directed film My Zoe.

Sleepwalker is Now Available on Digital HD and On Dem…

LAFF Review AND THEN THERE WAS EVE

2017
Directed By: Savannah Bloch
Starring: Tania Nolan, Rachel Crowl, Mary Holland, Karan Soni, John Kassir, and Anne Gee Byrd



Alyssa (Nolan) wakes up to find her home pillaged and her husband missing. The burglars have taken everything, down to the photos of her husband. The police offer little help so she turns to a friend of the family Eve (Crowl) for assistance. The film is less of a "who done it" and more of a "what happened."

The prolonged second act of the film focuses on the relationship between Eve and Alyssa. The suspense of the film lingers in the background while their relationship grows. In fact, clues of what is to come are clearly laid out in a way that allows the viewer to see where the film is headed before it gets there. I'm not sure if this is by design but the effect of having the stories trajectory clearly laid out gives the audience permission to accept this blossoming relationship.

Nolan and Crowl both give stunning performances that anc…

BFF review SWEET PARENTS

SWEET PARENTS review 2017
Directed By: David Bly
Starring: David Bly and Leah Rudick
Written By: David Bly and Leah Rudick

Moving to New York City with ambitions of making it as an artist is an uphill battle. Hell, moving to New York with ambitions of breaking into fast food is an uphill battle. Exorbitant rent makes it difficult if not impossible to get a temp job while you audition, paint, write, or sculpt. And paying $28 for an artisan PB&J not only has a heavy tax on your pocketbook, over time it can carry a greater burden on your soul. Spending tons of money to only feel like you are barely keeping your head above water is a crushing way to exist.

SWEET PARENTS is the story of a young couple who have been living the artists struggle in NYC for close to 8 years. Will has dreams of making it as a Chef and Gabby wants to become a professional sculptor. Both start side relationships, as last ditch efforts to support their careers, in what becomes a choice between ambition and lo…