Friday, September 18, 2015

The Sacrament (2013)

Director: Ti West

Writer: Ti West

Composer: Tyler Bates

Starring: Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Kentucker Audley, Gene Jone, Amy Seimetz, Kate Forbes, Conphidance, Derek Roberts, Shirley Jones Byrd, Shaun Clay, Dale Neal, Kate Lyn Sheil, Donna Biscoe

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Live as one. Die as one.

Plot: A news team trails a man as he travels into the world of Eden Parish to find his missing sister, where it becomes apparent that this paradise may not be as it seems.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

If someone had told me this was a found footage horror film I probably would've skipped it.  Instead, and thank you Netflix streaming, I came across this by chance and gave it a shot.  It's pretty damn good, surprisingly.  They did a great job with presenting the cult compound and Gene Jones (as this film's Jim Jones equivalent, Father - he's also turning up in Tarantino's THE HATEFUL 8) is ideal as the man who's running the show.  Still knowing nothing about the picture and letting it take me in it became clear early on that this was following the events of Jonestown and the mass suicide from '78.  I knew quite a bit about the incident and it was neat seeing lots of little details show up in this film.  There are some twists and turns added to the mix.  Sometimes the found footage setup works and sometimes it's obvious it's not real.  I don't know if it's possible these days to fool most folks into thinking a found footage film is real.  Besides, I'm a real skeptical fella.   LOTS of people die as you'd expect, the finale is harrowing and you really don't know until the last moment who, if any, will survive.  I really dig some of writer/director Ti West's other films.  Changing styles like this is a risk but it's one that paid off in my book.  I'd recommend watching this and then going right into a documentary (or at least reading the wiki page on it) on Jonestown.  It'd be a great double bill.  I've still never found that Jonestown-inspired film with Powers Boothe in the cult leader's role.  I needs ta see it.

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