A fashion photographer and his two friends journalists, embark on what at first seems like an adventure, to meet his missing sister at Eden Parish, a self-sustained utopia. Once there, they discover that there is a sinister edge to the commune and that this paradise may not be what it seems. What started as just another documentary shoot soon becomes a race to escape with their lives.
Ti West’s previous work were a hit and a miss. While House of the Devil, was a terrific homage to the 70’s horror movies, The Innkeepers was definitely not my cup of tea.
The Sacrament, follows the trend of found-footage storytelling, but instead of a supernatural plot, typical of this genre, we are presented with something far more scary, the dark side of human nature. Anyone familiar with Jim Jones, and the Jonestown tragedy events in 1978, will find the parallels between Jonestown and Eden Parish.
The movie starts slow, but there is still a chilling mood creeping up every minute. For example, one of the best sequences is the seemingly innocuous interview with the cult leader, perfectly portrayed by Gene Jones as the “Father”. The tension, is almost palpable, and his speech shows the oppressive control he has over his people.
This is a flawed and provocative film, while some of the plot decisions are predictable and the acting may not be its strongest point (except for the superb role by Gene Jones), this is still a powerful non-documentary on the subject of Cult Mentality. The Sacrament ends up to be a decent movie experience, but also a uneven one.