Paul Robinson’s review published on Letterboxd:
I've been looking forward to seeing Ti West's most recent offering for some time now and to my surprise there it was on Netflix right before my very eyes. I've seen a lot of love and even more dislike of this film so I went in as open minded as I could be. I knew it was about a cult, I knew it had a "found footage" style approach... Being a big fan of found footage films I couldn't help but get excited.
Straight away the premise is set out before us as we are introduced to the Vice documentary team who read a letter from a friends sister who has joined a religious group during rehabilitation of her drug and alcohol addiction. Now sober and clean she invites her brother to visit the group. The Vice team tag along to document the visit. This faux documentary style works really well as it bridges the gap where a more quality filming style can be achieved whilst still running the illusion of reality. A good choice for this story. There are moments where is took a few steps too far when we question who is filming and how we have perfect sound but it's a necessary evil that isn't too painful here.
The story does have a LOT of similarity to the Jonestown Massacre, in fact it's almost step for step the same, but that didn't stop it being any less creepy and tense, in fact it heightened the sense of realism. It's just unfortunate that tension was borrowed from an event not even mentioned by West. I must also mention the music, an unfortunate addition to any footage / documentary style film that's pure use is to create tension where there is none. Regardless I still thought this was a good, thoroughly unpleasant, tense and unsettling film.
This is a decent Indie Horror from an exciting new director. It's nice to see Ti West has thus far been given the opportunity to write, direct and edit his films through backing from greats like Eli Roth, I just hope his next film lives up to the quality of The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers.