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[Video Interview] AJ Bowen & Joe Swanberg Play Against Type in ‘The Sacrament’

The Sacrament is really one of this year’s success stories for me (as you can see by my review). I think it’s the best work Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, V/H/S) has done to date and it also features a surprising performance from AJ Bowen (A Horrible Way To Die, You’re Next). He’s not playing the smarmy good natured villain here (he’s of course done other kinds of roles before – I’m just talking about some of his more well known parts), instead he’s positioned as the audience’s POV. His Sam is a fully rounded character, but he’s also our access point. We see what’s to like, and what’s not to like, about Eden Parish through his eyes.

Joe Swanberg (A Horrible Way To Die, You’re Next, Drinking Buddies) isn’t in the film as much since he’s operating the camera a good chunk of the time. But when he does appear, especially for an extended heroic turn near the end of the film, he’s also playing against type. He has a tendency to be cast as the jerk (which he’s great at), but here he proves equally adept at embodying someone more morally centered.

The Sacrament is now on iTunes and VOD platforms, with a limited theatrical run beginning on June 6.Check out my interview with these two below.



  • joesey

    they did such a good job this whole movie was well done. it was scary and real-like It felt like they were really at Jonestown, funny thing I didn’t know that was Joe Swanburg until halfway through lol.

  • Rob Rosado

    Very good movie, hampered only by the use of a score in a found-footage movie. I’m a huge Ti West fan, but I think he has yet to one-up “House of the Devil”.

  • Anthony Gulino

    I loathe found footage as a whole but i completely got sucked in to this Jonestown Massacre inspired film…I thought they did a fantastic job building tension throughout this film and the payoff was outstanding…
    I was so into this that for the first time I literally forgot about the shaky cam and just got absorbed into the mess these fellas got themselves into…
    great job

    • SAME HERE! I was debating about renting the film from amazon because of the found footage but like you said the jonestown massacre thing really pulled me in. Hell, it even made me want to research it even MORE after I finished the movie but all in all the movie was very well done in terms of pacing and characters as well.

      • Anthony Gulino

        Check out the doc Jonestown :Life and Death Of The Peoples Temple. ..Truly horrific and interesting how Jones was able too manipulate his flock… You can see how these guys molded this film around that documentry in particular..

        • @anthony_gulino:disqus Interesting! I will add that film to my growing list of films to watch before I die. What’s so crazy about this Jonestown incident is the fact that there is more likely other groups or leaders who are doing the same thing today or maybe even worse.

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