Ti West is a divisive filmmaker. It is hard to gauge the general consensus with his films, because like Eli Roth and Rob Zombie, there are groups of people that go out of their way to nitpick, and bash everything he is attached to. I know different people like different things, and if somebody can give me a valid reason why The House of the Devil or The Innkeepers is legitimately their least-favorite film, I will accept it and agree to disagree. What I can’t abide, however, is people scrutinizing certain filmmakers by the way of impossible standards, that they hold almost no other filmmakers to. If you argue to me, that you can’t stand slow-burning films, where the payoff may or may not fit your description of “worth the wait” then we can have a conversation. But if you’re complaining about aspects of a film/filmmaker that you give others a pass for utilizing then it is almost impossible for me to take you seriously. In my eyes, Ti West hasn’t made a bad feature-length film. Whether or not his shorts, or parts in an anthology are up-to-snuff is up for debate, but for me, West’s feature films are always an event that I look forward to with anticipation.
From the press release:
Two reporters for VICE Media journey to a remote Central American compound hoping to reunite with the photographer’s sister, who feels out of touch after struggling with a drug addiction. They find an isolated community of true believers devoted to a shadowy but charismatic figure called “Father.” Skeptical at first, the journalists begin to come around to the group’s utopian claims, until things rapidly take a very dark turn.
A lot of people have complained that they knew how the film was going to end, but if that were a valid complaint, no movie should ever be made based on a real-world event, or even an already-established piece of culture like a book, comic, tv, etc. If you do not like movies based on real events, then you should probably steer clear of them, instead of criticizing them for doing exactly what they set out to do with the film. The Sacrament is not a documentary, and if you are familiar with Jonestown, then not only will the ending come as no surprise to you, but you will also notice the areas in which they strayed from the actual events. And that’s okay, there is still plenty to be enjoyed, and it is still a remarkably creepy film, even though you already know how it’s going to end. This is somewhat of a departure from Ti West’s usual style. It is still a slow-burning film, but not as much as something like The House of the Devil. There is always something going on, to make the viewer feel uncomfortable. In some ways, knowing how it will end makes it even more unnerving, because you know bad things are around the corner, and as you become invested in the character, you begin to feel a sense of dread due to the coming events.
The Sacrament is not my favorite Ti West film, but it is still highly effective at what it tries to accomplish. It manages to take a well-known story, and add Ti West’s own creepy flavor, making it straddle the line between something you’ve already seen, and something entirely different. Ti West has that ability, to tread familiar territory, but somehow make you feel like it is a wholly original piece of work. If you have ever seen The Roost, The House of the Devil, or even The Innkeepers to an extent, you know this to be true. The Sacrament is no exception to this. If you are a fan of Ti’s work, then I can see no reason why you wouldn’t be a fan of The Sacrament. Magnolia/Magnet’s Blu-ray release of the film, is an impressive exhibition of Ti West’s film. It is technically a found-footage film, but it still looks and sounds gorgeous on the Blu-ray format. It does feature some bonus content, which includes Creating The Sacrament: Revealing the Vision, Working with the Director: The Ti West Experience, Preparing for Takeoff: Behind the Scenes Helicopter Sequence, AXSTV: A Look at The Sacrament, A feature-length commentary featuring Writer/Director Ti West and Amy Seimetz, and more. You may purchase a copy of the film for yourself, by clicking the BUY! button below the review.
The Sacrament (Blu-ray)17.99
- - Great, creepy film
- - Excellent PQ/AQ
- - Bonus Content
- - Found Footage