Director: Ti West
Writer: Ti West (Screenplay)
Starring: Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, Kate Lyn Sheil, AJ Bowan, Shawn Parsons, Gene Jones, Kentucker Audley, Donna Biscoe, Derek Roberts
Plot: A news team trails a man as he travels to an undisclosed location to find his missing sister. Upon entering “Eden Parish” and meeting the community’s leader, it becomes apparent to the newcomers that this paradise may not be as it seems.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Cult, Bang, Wallop
Story: The Sacrament starts by tell us about a small new team who get a story about a missing sister Caroline (Seimetz). We get plenty of information that tells the basic outline of the missing person story as well as meeting the crew of journalists who will be joining Patrick (Audley) on the trip to the community to which she is now a part of. The group arrive at the mysterious Eden Parish to a hostile welcome before Caroline brings them all in.
The team start to try and interview people who are part of the community trying to understand what it is all about. They meet a range of different aged and ethnic backgrounds all praising the Father (Jones). While everyone seems to be enjoying their time at the community a few people leave the journalists questioning how good everything really is. They get to have an interview with the mysterious Father where the question got avoided and reflected back upon the journalists. When one of the members of the community gives the journalists a note asking them for help they discover what is really happening on the site and end up in a race against time to save their own lives.
The Sacrament takes the found footage film idea and shows you how to film it well. We do mix between found footage and normal footage too, but with the found footage there is a minimum shaky camera work going on as everything is set out to create an interview. We also have the cult film that we have seen plenty of times but this does end up taking that idea and turn in on its head again. This story builds up nicely and shows how easily people will join these type of communities but the highlight of the whole film is that it is film like it really happened with the information at the start and at the end. (8/10)
Joe Swanberg: Jake cameraman who is on the trip shooting most of it in the found footage feeling. He has to save his friend after he gets captured once everything goes down. Joe gives a solid performance with most of his time stuck behind the camera. (6/10)
Amy Seimetz: Caroline the girl they group have come to locate only to find she is a happy resident of the community. Amy gives a good performance as part of the cult who believes in everything she has heard. (8/10)
AJ Bowan: Sam journalist who is on front of the camera trying to ask the questions that will help them understand the community. AJ gives a good performance and convinces as an ambitious journalist. (8/10)
Gene Jones: Father the leader of community who seems to be able to get anybody to listen to them. Gene gives a good performance as anything he says makes everyone freeze and listen to him. (8/10)
Support Cast: The Sacrament’s support cast is members of the community some are happy while some are not, each one convinces and helps with the story.
Director Review: Ti West – Ti does a great job directing a film that ends up having a feel of a real life documentary that is very shocking, even through the ends credits. (9/10)
Horror: The Sacrament creates an interesting horror idea that shows the journalist trapped but as the story turns into a horrific race to survive. (7/10)
Thriller: The Sacrament builds up the tension to what will happen and then sends it into a direction we didn’t see. (8/10)
Settings: The Sacrament creates a brilliant horror isolation setting showing the community and the way they live very well. (10/10)
Suggestion: The Sacrament is one for all the horror fans out there to watch and enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)
Best Part: The whole idea that it is filmed like a complete story that doesn’t end once the credits starts.
Worst Part: The implosion of the community seems sudden.
Believability: This could well happen with communities like this. (6/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Awards: Ti West won Syfy Jury Prize at Gerardmer Film Festival
Oscar Chances: No
Budget: $4 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes
Tagline: Live as one. Die as one.
Overall: Found Footage Done Well