[TIFF '13] Ti West’s ‘The Sacrament’ Is Getting Early Hype

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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.

  • dr.lamb

    Nah, not convinced of his work so far.

    • Se7en XxSinzXx

      Not convinced of his work? The House of the Devil and The Inkeepers are fantastic.

    • djblack1313

      dr.lamb, i’m with you. no offense to any Ti fans but nothing he’s done have i found all that great. HOUSE OF THE DEVIL was ok but nothing amazing. INNKEEPERS was blech…etc, etc. but who knows? maybe this new movie is awesome (or at least good!).

      • djblack1313

        also, Ti’s AJ Bowen really annoys me (i was glad his character is not in most of YOU’RE NEXT!) but Amy Seimetz is awesome (check her out in season 3 of AMC’s “THE KILLING”! heartbreaking, excellent performance). so i’ll watch this movie mostly due to her being in it.

        • DarrelDreadful

          @dj haha I thought I was the only one who is annoyed by AJ Bowen.

          • djblack1313

            DarrelDreadful, RIGHT?! lol. :)

        • dr.lamb

          “House of the Devil” had some nice atmospheric shots and really felt like a 80s horror film, but that’s it. Otherwise it made me shrug. “The Innkeepers” is just nonsense.

    • mobstar67

      i have got to agree with doclamb… Ti West did ok with House Of The Devil..other than that i find his work painful ie. Cabin Fever 2 Spring Fever and im no fan of the VHS films which that in itself can get you a lifetime ban from Bloody Disgusting…
      i thought this film looked interesting and had promise until i found out it was more found footage…
      imo the found footage format is beyond overdone..same crap..slow build until you get the 30 second payoff in the end..if your lucky…
      with that said im still gonna check it out and will hope for the best…

  • mav07

    the whole Jim Jones/Peoples Temple incident has always creeped me the fuck out. watch any of the documentaries and you’ll feel the same. This type of story has the potential to be very scary, raw, real…

    • diapers

      Hey, can you name a good documentary or two on Jim Jones?

  • Danny-E

    I found AJ was impressive in Horrible Way To Die and Rites Of Spring. Ti has a unique vision. Either you love him or hate him. I always thought the Jonestown story was great to tap into for a movie.

  • Splatterhound

    I love Ti West.

    Will definitely be checking this out.

  • diapers

    Ya know, I can understand the so-so reception of Inn Keepers. For whatever reason, I loved it. Something about the pacing, maybe, reminded me of the old school style like The Shining. Slow, measured, weird, creepy. Anyway, I think A.J. Bowen is pretty effective when he plays antagonists… his role in The Signal being especially good IMO. There must be some kind of rule in the mind of Ti that A.J. must perform in everything he makes, ha ha.