The Sacrament popped up on Netflix and I hadn’t heard about it so, knowing next to nowt I stuck it on.
I noticed the similarity to Jonestown and tweeted as much including a spoiler alert: don’t drink the Kool Aid.
So I was pretty stunned when the film played out almost exactly how Jonestown ended. Only the names had changed and that is part of the reason it pissed me off.
Ti West made a modern found footage based exactly on Jonestown but didn’t even give those victims the dignity of their real names. It smacks to me of exploitation.
If he had made a proper Jonestown film that kept the names and details accurate it would definitely feel more legit or if he had changed enough details to make his film different to the mass suicide of the Jonestown people.
The film follows some Vice reporters who fly out to a remote country so that photographer Patrick (Kentucker Audley) can meet up with his sister who has joined a commune. Sam and Jake (AJ Bowen and Joe Swanberg) go with him to interview the communes leader ‘Father’ (Gene Jones). When they arrive all seems legit but as the day goes on the guys start to notice that things aren’t quite as they seem.
I felt like the film should have been tense but then, knowing exactly how this was going to play out after watching for 10 minutes meant it killed any sense of tention or drama. This isn’t really a horror film, there is no horror, no scares, no creeping feeling of dread. Nothing. A big dull exploitative dud. AVOID.