Watch The Sacrament
- 1 hr 39 min
The Sacrament is a found-footage horror film from 2013 that follows a team of journalists as they travel to a remote commune in rural South America to document its way of life. The journalists are joined by a photographer, Patrick (Kentucker Audley), who is hoping to find his sister Caroline (Amy Seimetz) who has been living in the commune for several months. Once they arrive, the group is welcomed by the residents of the commune, who appear to lead a peaceful and harmonious existence. However, as the journalists begin to interview the residents, they uncover a sinister secret at the heart of the commune. The charismatic Father (Gene Jones), who leads the group, has been manipulating his followers and enforcing his will with a terrifying degree of control. The journalists soon realize that they are in grave danger and must find a way to escape before it's too late. The film is directed by Ti West, known for his work in the horror genre, and stars several actors who are familiar faces in independent horror films. Joe Swanberg plays Jake, one of the journalists, while AJ Bowen plays Sam, the leader of the group. The three actors work well together, portraying a believable dynamic as they try to uncover the truth behind the commune's faÃ§ade of serenity. One of the strengths of The Sacrament is its use of found-footage techniques. The film is shot entirely from the perspective of the journalists' cameras, giving the audience a sense of immediacy and intimacy with the characters. This technique also allows for the gradual reveal of the horrors at the commune, as the audience is encouraged to piece together information alongside the journalists. The use of shaky camera work and blurred shots adds to the sense of chaos and danger that permeates the film. The Sacrament also explores themes of manipulation and control, with Father's charismatic persona masking his true intentions. The film asks questions about the tendency of humans to follow charismatic leaders, and the ease with which people can be persuaded to do things that are against their better judgment. The presence of the journalists, who are outsiders to the commune, creates a sense of tension and unease, as they are a reminder that not everyone subscribes to Father's ideology. The film also raises questions about the morality of documentary filmmaking and the responsibility that comes with presenting a certain reality to an audience. The scares in The Sacrament rely more on tension and dread than jump scares or gore. The slow build-up of tension throughout the film is executed well, with the audience feeling a sense of creeping dread as the journalists delve deeper into the secrets of the commune. The film's climax is intense and unsettling, with a sense of chaos and violence that feels earned after the slow build. One of the weaknesses of The Sacrament is its reliance on cliches of found-footage horror. The use of found footage as a storytelling device has become somewhat tired in recent years, and the film doesn't do much to push the boundaries of the genre. The characters also follow familiar tropes of horror films, with the well-meaning journalist, the skeptical cameraman, and the naive photographer. Overall, The Sacrament is an effective horror film that explores themes of manipulation, control, and the dangers of following charismatic leaders. The use of found-footage techniques adds to the tension and immediacy of the film, and the performances from the lead actors are solid. While the film relies on some tired tropes of the genre, it is still an engaging and unsettling viewing experience.