The Sacrament (DVD)

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The Sacrament (DVD)

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Review of "The Sacrament (DVD)"

published 13/09/2017 | thedevilinme
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"Jonestown Massacre 2?"

The Sacrament (DVD)

The Sacrament (DVD)

Star – Director Eli Roth
Genre – Drama
Run Time – 100 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – U.S.
Awards – 3 Wins & 12 Nominations
Amazon – £4.60 DVD £12.42 Blue Ray
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From acclaimed writer/director Ti West (The House of the Devil) and master of horror Eli Roth (Hostel), we have The Sacrament, a tale about a large religious community sect hiding out in the woods who don’t want to go back to their old lives in modern America. At first I thought it was based on the Jonestown Massacre, about a real life Jesus sect commune from the 1970s that came to a tragic end in the jungle of Guyana. It was a big story at the time and made for an extraordinary documentary (Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple), that’s if you did not know the full story? We agree religion encourages people to do nice things but also manipulates people to do crazy things to sustain the particular leader’s power, both angles explored in this reasonably intelligent horror /drama from Roth.

Cast

Joe Swanberg ... Jake Williams
AJ Bowen ... Sam Turner
Kentucker Audley ... Patrick
Gene Jones ... Father
Amy Seimetz ... Caroline
Kate Forbes ... Mindy
Conphidance ... Guide #1
Derek Roberts ... Guide #2
Shirley Jones Byrd ... Lorraine Davis
Shaun Clay ... Robert (as Lashaun Clay)
Dale Neal ... Andre
Kate Lyn Sheil ... Sarah White
Donna Biscoe ... Wendy
Tovin A. Pristell ... Guard
Christian Ojore Mayfield ... Pilot (as Christian O'Jore)


Plot

Patrick (Kentucker Audley), a New York fashion photographer, receives a letter from his sister (Amy Seimetz), Caroline a recovering drug addict, inviting him to visit Eden Parish, a utopian, drug-free community. Patrick ponders a trip and a quick investigation reveals that the commune has moved to a new undisclosed location only accessible by helicopter. Intrigued by the mystery, Patrick pitches his quandary to his co-workers at Vibe Media, reporter Sam (AJ Bowen) and cameraman Jake (Joe Swanberg) suggesting a feature documentary on the community.

After some more investigation they discover the new location and intend to surprise Caroline. The flight goes well as they pitch up with their kit at an undisclosed location, but the helicopter pilot (Christian Ojore Mayfield) warning them that he will leave with or without them the next day at an greed time.

Tension rises when they meet the armed guides at the airfield. Expecting only Patrick, the men are taken aback by a film crew. They contact ‘Father’ (Gene Jones), the charismatic leader of Eden Parish, who authorizes their entrance. Inside they are greeted by Caroline, also surprised by the film crew.

Settling in the Father agrees to let the boys take some film and photos and chat with the occupants. all seem happy and content and willing to be there in the seemingly self sufficient and sizeable community of around 200 plus, wooden cabins, a make shift medical center and town hall suggesting organization and decent funding.

The Father agrees to be interviewed on camera on the stage in front of the entire congregation. But it’s not long before he is gently agitated by the interviewer’s questions on the self- sustainability and freedoms of the communes. Leaving the stage Sam is unnerved by the preacher and his hold over the people and when they further investigate its clear all is not happy clappy as it seems and some people quite fancy being on that helicopter out in the morning. Patrick’s sister’s intentions of getting him here are less to do with catching up and more to do with the survival of the commune, the chemistry of Eden Parish seriously upset by their arrival.
Results

My big problem with this film is I have seen the excellent documentary on the Jonestown Massacre and this ‘drama’ is very similar to what happened there. I guess Roth and West have also seen it. If you haven’t seen it then this film will no doubt have more shock value to it and you will be more involved as there are some edgy bits in it but I have seen it so the effect lost on me. I really did think this was a dramatization of Jonestown pretty early on. I can’t believe the directors through they would get away with such blatant duplication. They didn’t, of course, as the movie barely did any money.

There are some oddities here, two retired members of the Harlem Globetrotters played background roles in this movie and all the men with guns are black in the film. It would have been more interesting to explore a reverse authority race role than just stereotype with that aspect.

The cast re unknown and with wonderful frontier names like Kentucker Audley you won’t be seeing them in a big film soon. To be fair they are perfectly fine in it and do the best with the script and add some tension and intelligence. The whole cult dynamics is interesting and its not always thick people who join them, a great place for sadist to operate. The leaders of these cults are smart; they don’t believe in God but love the God idea, them being the God. All religions are business when it comes down to it and they need money to keep going.

I enjoyed the film to a point but it lacked that little bit extra in brains and intrigue to make this interesting and recommendable. Its definitely one to wait for on TV. If you do believe in one of the 118 religions and 456 Gods on Earth then by all means compare it to yours but for me religion remains the domain of stupid and intellectually lazy people and you get all you deserve when the collection tray comes out.
RATINGS


Imdb.com – 6.1/10.0 (13,256votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 63% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 49% critic’s approval

Trailer

http://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi238397977?playlistId=tt2383068&ref_=tt_ov_vi
Special Features

-Deleted Scenes –

-Gallery-

-Behind the Scenes-

Critics

NY Times –‘Shifts from the unnerving to the hollow after it becomes evident that Mr. West is more interested in showing how his characters die than how they lived’.

Mail –‘West also proves that horror can draw from real-world scenarios and give us surprisingly profound moments’..

The Horror Show –‘What some may see as "slow and uneventful storytelling" I see as "subtle and masterfully sustained suspense’.

Los Angeles Times –‘The first half is a cautiously dread-inducing tour de force... The second half, however, when all hell breaks loose a little too quickly, is the disappointment’.

NY Magazine –‘The Sacrament may not be a good movie, but it has enough virtues - enough gripping, well-put-together moments - that it made me reconsider my opinion of West as a director’.

Globe & Mail –‘The tension fizzles as The Sacrament narrows into predictability, indulging every cliché of found-footage filmmaking and Jonestown-styled cult apocalypticism’.


The Star-‘Although this film is classified in the horror genre, it plays more like a suspenseful drama. This film shows that director Ti West has the potential to move beyond the horror genre, as so many other directors have done before him’.

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Comments on this review

  • Mickie26 published 20/09/2017
    Sounds good
  • euphie published 15/09/2017
    e :o)
  • LiveMusicLoverLyn published 15/09/2017
    Interesting, I'll look out for it.
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Product Information : The Sacrament (DVD)

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Product Details

DVD Region: DVD

Classification: 18 years and over

Video Category: Feature Film

Actor(s): Joe Swanberg, Kate Lyn Sheil, Amy Seimetz

Production Year: 2013

Director(s): Ti West

EAN: 5060192814323

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Listed on Ciao since: 10/09/2017