10/15/14 – 2014 OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE RECOMMENDATION #15 – The Sacrament.

The Sacrament

Every year I pick a few movies that are a different kind of “horror.” These are movies that instead of being outright in your face with scares, shocks, or gore, rather they paint a more tilted picture closer to real-life situations that hit us in a different place. They get under our skin in a more unnerving and disturbing way that, while slower paced and more methodical, stay with you for much longer. The Sacrament is a perfect example of a movie that sticks with you long after the closing credits. I would say The Sacrament is loosely based on the Jonestown Massacre, but it’s a bit more than loosely based. It’s practically a modern day reenactment. If you’re familiar with the events of the Jonestown Massacre this movie probably won’t have as much of effect on you to someone who goes in cold, but either way, this movie packs a punch. Yes, it is technically a found footage movie because we follow a documentary crew as our eyes and ears, but there is minimal shaky cam at work here, and the gimmick is more used simply as a POV than as a more visceral usage. The story is about a radical news crew that follows a man’s search for his sister. His sister has been taken into a type of cult and now she’s finally requesting he come and see her. But the location is secret, and they have to follow specific instructions to see her. Once they arrive, the news crew is not really welcome, but still allowed access. And as they start to film this type of “starting over” paradise called Eden’s Parish, they soon discover that everything may not be exactly as it appears. The Sacrament was directed by Ti West, who, if you read this blog, you already know I’m a huge fan of. I’ve previously written about The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers, but here he goes a much different direction. His trademark slower pace and methodically-built tension is in place, but here he trades Satan worshipers and ghosts for real life terror. The ironically named actor Gene Jones plays his version of a Jim Jones character. “Father” as he is called, is definitely one for the ages. Engrossing and just unnerving, if you’re more into real-life horror, especially ones about cults, you’ll thoroughly enjoy The Sacrament.

 

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