6.1/10
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The Sacrament (2013)

R | | Horror, Thriller | 1 May 2014 (USA)
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A news team trails a man as he travels into the world of Eden Parish to find his missing sister, where it becomes apparent that this paradise may not be as it seems.

Director:

Ti West

Writer:

Ti West
3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

The journalist Patrick works at the VICE, a company dedicated to cover bizarre news. When his sister Caroline joins a community, she travels abroad with her new family. Out of the blue, Caroline invites her brother to visit her in an undefined country and Patrick travels by helicopter with his friends Jake and Sam that work with him at VICE. They find weird that the men that have come to guide them to the Eden Parish have guns. On the arrival to the camp, Patrick, Sam and Jake find a community of happy people that worship Father. They interview Father but soon they realize that people are not as happy as they seem to be. Further, they find that they are trapped in the Parish Eden and they want to leave the place with the newcomers. But the Father does not have intention to let them go.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Live as one. Die as one.

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content including bloody images, language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sveta Tajna See more »

Filming Locations:

Savannah, Georgia, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$583, 8 June 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,039, 29 June 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

VICE is a real new media company based out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. See more »

Quotes

Andre: [convulsing] Help me, mother... my mother, my sister, they are gone... poison... I ain't goin' to heaven. Don't leave me! I ain't goin' to heaven!
See more »

Soundtracks

O Fix Me
Performed by The Hallelujah Singers
(P) 2014 SBP Commissioning LLC, under exclusive license to Milan Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Makes the most of what it has...
23 August 2014 | by nukfanSee all my reviews

If The Sacrament has anything going for it, it would be how much the filmmakers accomplished with such a small budget. The colony is a worthy achievement; a lot of time and effort has been put into constructing the huts and various buildings. The isolation of the colony and the complacency of its inhabitants effectively establishes an eerie vibe and these are the main reasons why the first half of the film is the strongest. What tension there is builds slowly, and your time isn't wasted with jump scares and cheap thrills. Also, I appreciate, despite the fact that this is a found-footage film, that the camera isn't too shaky.

As a whole, unfortunately, The Sacrament is ultimately ineffective as a horror/thriller film. Ti West and company have derived a lot of inspiration from the Jonesville mass suicide in 1978, and this ends up being a negative contribution to the film. I have watched harrowing TV documentaries regarding this truly horrifying moment in human history, but The Sacrament is simply as predictable as any routine horror film. I made the Jim Jones connection very early on. The appearance of Gene Jones as "Father" only confirmed this connection, though Jones is definitely a wonderful member of the cast and I applaud the filmmakers for tracking him down.

I'm sure that there was a way to make this work. But the resemblances to Jonesville render the film practically unnecessary; I knew exactly what was going to happen. I understand that the film was based on a very disturbing event, but that doesn't give it a free pass. From a historic point of view, this is an interesting representation of Jim Jones' cult. But from a creative point of view, the film is ultimately an hour of slow -building tension with a restrained payoff. A good twist or perhaps taking the Jonesville concept in a unique direction would have given this a few more stars from me.

In conclusion, I recommend this for people who have never heard of Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple. For everyone else, I can't say the same.


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