Skip to main content

THE SACRAMENT (2013).

Magnolia Pictures

2.5 out of 4 stars

Title
The Sacrament
Written by
Ti West
Directed by
Ti West
Starring
AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, Gene Jones
Classification
14A
Country
USA
Language
English

There's a Simpsons episode wherein Homer, reading a first-person survival story in a Reader's Digest knock-off, frets about the narrator's fate. "Homer," Marge gently reassures him, "he obviously got out alive if he wrote the article."

Found-footage movies like The Sacrament suffer from a similar built-in structural setback. If indeed this footage was "found" (and edited, and fitted with a musical score), it generally stands to reason that its makers survived whatever ordeal is being captured. Here, three New York documentarians (working for youth-culture megabrand Vice) infiltrate a backwater religious commune lorded over by the gregarious Father (Gene Jones, who feasts on the scenery like a starving man at a buffet). Writer/director/editor Ti West (House of the Devil) yet again exhibits his knack for slow-burn plotting. But the tension fizzles as The Sacrament narrows into predictability, indulging every cliché of found-footage filmmaking and Jonestown-styled cult apocalypticism.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies