The Sacrament ★★★½

I'm fascinated by how The Sacrament has divided those I follow on Letterboxd! Some reviewers (with opinions I respect) have given this half a star, others four stars. While I found The Sacrament flawed, I definitely enjoyed it. I'm always wary of the found footage format, but Ti West handles it well allowing it to be cut together like a documentary rather than an "unedited" collection of shaky cam footage. It's also, despite the pseudo-documentary vibe, a surprisingly nice film to look at. The camera mostly stays still rather than looking like it was shot by someone in the middle of a seizure. The film is well cast and well acted. I wanted the main characters to get through their ordeal unscathed. The cult members are likeable and not just dribbling, mindless villains. Like his previous film The House of the Devil, West builds tension to an incredible effect. The first forty minutes of The Sacrament is the film at its best. There's not much happening, but it is extremely stressful viewing. I don't think The Sacrament quite lives up to its excellent build up, but its finale is still fairly tense. Definitely a worthwhile viewing.