Skip to main content

Day 10 of my 31 days of horror brings us The Sacrament




2013
Directed By Ti West

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.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

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…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…