Another day another found footage horror movie-oh joy! Actually some of the ones I’ve seen recently haven’t been that bad. But my luck must be running out soon, right?
Directed by Ti West The Sacrament follows Patrick (Kentucker Audley), a fashion photographer for VICE Magazine who receives a letter from his sister Caroline inviting him to her commune called Eden Parish which can only be reached by helicopter as it’s in a remote location. Intrigued by the letter his co-workers, Sam (A.J Bowen), a reporter and Jake (Joe Swanberg), a cameraman decide to accompany Patrick and make a documentary about Eden Parish. While at first the community seem idyllic they soon find out that a dark heart lies in Eden Parish.
One day there will be a movie about a mysterious commune and the big twist will be they are not some evil cult! As predictable as it is that something is seriously wrong with Eden Parrish (made even more clear as the film borrows heavily from real life events of Jonestown in 1978) The Sacrament is a tense and well made movie. It may be a bit slow for some horror buffs at first, but it does help build up the atmosphere as the cynical journalists are lured into a false sense of security before almost immediately having their suspicions raised again.
What is also refreshing is that a lot of the action takes place during the day which makes the events unfolding on-screen more terrifying. The sun shines as the deaths pile up and Eden Parish’s future becomes bleaker and bleaker. The actors are good (horror fans may remember actors Bowen and Swansberg as members of the unlucky Davison clan in You’re Next, in which director West also made a small appearance) and they are confidently directed by West.The commune’s leader, an older Southern man who everyone creepily calls Father (chillingly played by Gene Jones), is also a good villian and is exactly how I imagine these cult leaders to really be like.
It may lack depth or any real comment about these types of cults and the people who join them but fans of horror may find this of interest.
Rating 3/5 – disturbing and uneasy, but probably only of interest to horror fans