With the 38th Toronto International Film Festival kicking off today, both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter had an early start in viewing the widely hyped The Sacrament, the Eli Roth-produced found-footage horror from director Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, V/H/S).
Starring Joe Swanberg (V/H/S, You’re Next, A Horrible Way To Die), AJ Bowen (You’re Next, A Horrible Way To Die, The House of the Devil, The Signal), Kentucker Audley (V/H/S), Amy Seimetz (You’re Next, A Horrible Way to Die, Tiny Furniture) and Gene Jones (No Country for Old Men), the film follows two journalists who are documenting a man’s search for his missing sister find themselves on the run after the locate the woman in a rural cult who is preparing for a mass suicide.
“The ominous, pulsating drone of Bates’ music, the increasing agitation of West’s editing, and the raw, video-reporter edge of Eric Robbins’ nervy camerawork all contribute to manipulate the atmosphere into one of engulfing dread in a film that gets under the skin and stays there,” says THR‘s David Rooney in an insanely spoiler heavy review. “The nerve-wracking documentary realism of the film owes its success to the naturalistic performances of the four leads, all of them repeat West collaborators,” he adds.
As for Variety, they explain that it’s “…a film that purists might insist isn’t horror in the strictest sense, though this slow-burning investigation of unseemly goings-on at a rural Christian commune is frightening in any genre language.”
You can read both spoiler-heavy reviews by clicking the links above.