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Rated R · 99 minutes · 2014

Thriller
This is a sloppy, "found footage" riff on the Jonestown Massacre. No, it's not a total retelling of the Jim Jones '70's true horror story, where a large group of people following Jones drank poisoned fruit drink in an act of mass suicide. It's a film "inspired" by those true events, and placed in a modern setting. As for the quality of the movie, I'll place it somewhere squarely in the middle of the found footage movie pack. It's not terrible, but it is a certain distinct, stank level of bad. The setup has a news team heading for a remote (Hey, that's why they will be carrying cameras at all times!), unknown location after Patrick (Kentucker Audley) gets an invite from his sister, Caroline (Amy Seimetz). The team also includes head reporter Sam (AJ Bowen) and cameraman Jake (Joe Swanberg). As soon as they approach the gates of Eden, the kooky compound where Caroline resides, they are greeted with hostility and machine guns. This is normally where most dudes would say "Screw this!" get back on their helicopter, and get back to the States, but there's a stupid movie to had here, so they follow Caroline into further weirdness. The compound is run by a mysterious, zealot figure called Father (Gene Jones). Father agrees to be interviewed by Sam at a big party held in the news team's honor. The interview doesn’t go well, and things start to deteriorate quickly. Too much happens too fast in the movie, with Father ordering up a mass suicide because he feels threatened by the news team he invited to visit. The parallel with the actual Jim Jones is undeniable, but the way the tragedy is depicted here comes off as very shallow and sloppy.
Director: Ti West
Producer: Maria Cestone, Stuart Ford, Hoyt Morgan, Sarah Johnson, Molly Conners, Jacob Jaffke, Peter Phok and Eli Roth
Cast: Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, A. Bowen, Kate Sheil, Kentucker Audley, Gene Jones, Donna Biscoe, Shawn Parsons and Shaun Clay

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The Sacrament

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Portland Mercury Not Buying It The Sacrament: In which I officially give up on Ti West. by Marjorie Skinner 06/11/2014

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