FAH11

Fright At Home Spotlight: THE SACRAMENT!

Hitting shelves today, is everything from the Jim Jarmusch vampire flick, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE and Scream Factory’s new Bluray of LEVIATHAN, to the focal point of this Fright At Home article, Ti West’s Jonestown-like thriller, THE SACRAMENT. Having already had the chance to check out the Magnet-released disc of THE SACRAMENT, we thought we’d give you fright fanatics the verdict on whether or not you should spend your hard earned cash on this one, and well, the truth is…you should.


0087696400666_500X500

THE MOVIE:

Quite easily West’s most realized film to date, THE SACRAMENT injects indie-darlings AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Amy Siemetz and many others into a fictional account loosely based on the Jonestown massacre of 1978. Revolving around a group of reporters from VICE seeking out the sister (Siemetz) of one their photographers after receiving an odd letter, giving off the impression that she might be involved in a cult, THE SACRAMENT quickly grabs your attention, and doesn’t let go until the final credits roll.  With the facade of the fictional commune full of people of all walks of life all swearing that life has never been better since selling off their possessions and joining up with “Father” (a game-changing  Gene Jones) and his “Eden Parrish”, Bowen and co. begin to interview various members of the Parrish and though odd, they begin to think that maybe the people ARE genuinely happy, up until things begin to reveal themselves and the situation begins to be very dangerous for everyone.

One of the many ingredients that make the film work so well, is how believable every single actor involved in the film is, and the POV-type style of filmmaking quickly succeeds in making you forget that you’re watching a movie, feeling much more in line with a documentary. You believe in the characters and begin to sympathize with them, and with Bowen and Swanberg’s journalist characters, who are intent on finding out what lies beneath the surface of the commune. When Bowen’s character is granted an interview with Jones’ Father character, it’s one intensely powerful scene, keeping you enthralled and clinging on to every word spoken by Jones. West definitely scored big with casting Jones in the Fther role, as he commands every single scene he is in, with a sinister-like calmness to him, almost as if he was channeling not only Jim Jones, but almost in some ways, the charismatic elements of Charles Manson, easily getting his followers to follow everything said to them.

The first half of the film provides one great setup, and as the film’s second half kicks in and the danger begins to unravel, THE SACRAMENT heads into extremely intense territory, gripping at your heart-strings and hitting you like a juggernaut (after seeing the film at last year’s Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX, I called my kids back in California and had to tell them I loved them, I kid you not). It’s a very intense and heart-wrenching film that grips you by the collar and tighten it’s grip until you can barely breathe, right up until the very end, making you wonder if anyone will get out of Eden Parrish alive.


SPECIAL FEATURES:

  •  Creating THE SACRAMENT: Revealing the Vision: a short doc focusing on West’s vision for the film, featuring interviews with the cast and crew, including producer Eli Roth.
  • Working with the Director: The Ti West Experience: Cast and crew explain what it’s life to work with West. Pretty short in length, but a fun addition to the disc.
  • Preparing For Takeoff: Behind the Scenes Helicopter Sequence: a short video detailing the film’s climatic helicopter sequence, and how it was filmed.
  • AXS TV: A Look at THE SACRAMENT:  another short epk regarding the making of the film.
  • Commentary with Ti West, AJ Bowen and Amy Siemetz: an in depth commentary, full of some interesting tidbits regarding the film.