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The Sacrament (2013) - Plot Summary Poster

(2013)

Plot

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Summaries

  • 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.

  • 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.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • Patrick, a fashion photographer, receives a letter from his estranged sister, a recovering drug addict named Caroline, that invites him to visit Eden Parish, a utopian, drug-free community founded by a religious leader. When Patrick investigates, he discovers that they have moved to a new undisclosed location only accessible by helicopter. Intrigued by the mystery, Patrick's co-workers, reporter Sam and cameraman Jake, suggest a feature documentary on the topic. The trip goes well, but the helicopter pilot warns them that he will leave with or without them the next day; they promise to be prompt. Issues first arise when they meet the guides at the airfield. Expecting only Patrick, they are taken aback by a film crew; they contact Father, the Jim Jones-esq leader, who authorizes their entrance.

    At the commune itself, armed guards delay the entry of the film crew. Feeling uneasy, Jake and Sam begin to regret the trip, but Patrick is able to smooth things over when his sister appears. Caroline enthusiastically welcomes them and apologizes for the misunderstanding. Caroline leaves with Patrick, and Jake and Sam are given their own cabin. After settling in, the two attempt to find members to interview. Several of the people open up to them and tell stories of how Father has saved them and given them new-found hope. The commune's nurse, Wendy, reveals that the commune has a well-stocked medical center funded by donations from the members, who sold off all their possessions.

    Privately, the filmmakers express their skepticism but admit that the members seem happy and have accomplished much. Caroline arranges an interview with Father, and Sam prepares a list of questions. However, Father will only agree to do the interview during a public meeting. Father, an older Southerner, greets them warmly and at first answers the questions openly. However, his answers to further questions about the true nature of the community become more evasive and vaguely threatening. Near the end of the interview, Father raises the subject of Sam's pregnant wife, which Sam had mentioned earlier to Wendy. Taken off-guard, Sam fumbles and loses control of the interview, and Father politely but dominantly cuts it short with roaring applause from his followers, who proceed to engage in a party.

    During the party, Savannah, a young, mute girl, passes a note requesting help to Sam. When the filmmakers inquire further, they discover a dissident group that wishes to leave, alleging abuse and brainwashing. Jake does not want to get involved, but Sam insists that they help despite the fact that the helicopter can not fit them. When Sam and Jake attempt to locate Patrick, they find that he has been take aside for a threesome, and an inebriated-seeming Caroline explains that they need Patrick's money. Growing increasingly distrustful of Father and the commune, Jake and Sam anxiously wait out the night, unable to sleep.

    In the morning, they find that the dissidents have become outright rebellious. Sarah, Savannah's mother, insists that they at least rescue her daughter, and Jake returns to the helicopter to delay its take-off. The pilot flatly refuses to help, but gunshots cut the conversation short. Jake flees into the forest and circles back to the helicopter; the injured pilot tells him to get the others. At the camp, Sam attempts to break up a fight, and a guard attacks him. Caroline angrily denounces him, and he is taken hostage. Father convenes the commune and forces everyone to commit mass suicide by taking cyanide-laced drinks. Anyone who refuses is shot dead. When Jake returns to the camp, he finds almost everyone dead except for roving, armed guards.

    Patrick, also held hostage, panics when Caroline injects him with a syringe, and she holds him as he dies. When Jake finds her, she refuses to leave the camp, saying that she has nothing left, and she self-immolates. In another cabin, Jake finds Savannah and Sarah hiding; Sarah herself kills her daughter to spare her from execution, and guards shoot Sarah dead while Jake hides. When Jake finally confronts Father himself, he finds Sam bound to a chair. Father commits suicide, and the two filmmakers flee back to the helicopter, where they escape.

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