The Sacrament ★★★★

The Sacrament is the third feature from Ti West, and is basically his take on the Jonestown massacre. The film follows two journalists shooting a documentary about a man's attempt to locate his missing sister. They find her in a rural cult preparing for a mass suicide.

The two journalists are airlifted to a remote area in the forest and then driven by truck to the cult's camp. When reach the gate, they are greeted by three angry African men armed with machine guns (which doesn't put them off entering the camp). They are greeting by the man's missing sister, who is happy, a little too see them.

Soon after their arrival the journalists are invited to a town meeting by the leader of the camp, a man the cult members call "father". At the camp meeting the journalists interview the charismatic cult leader, where he tell them about his belief in the rejection of western values, capitalism and modern technology, and warns the journalists not to give the group a bad write-up in the paper or divulge any info on the camps location. Much like all cult leaders, "father" makes out that the camp is a utopia of sorts where the people are truly free. It turns out, however, that all is not well in utopia.

The one thing that irritated me was the stupidity of the journalists: even after his friend is abducted and killed by the cult leader, one of them remains - trying to find the groups photographer and the man's missing sister. A one point he tries to escape on a chopper, only to be fired upon by the armed guards. So where does he flee to..? the woods, to a find a road maybe, the sky, anywhere but back to the dam camp! But that's where he goes.

The acting is pretty good and film was pretty well paced. As powerful as the subject matter is, the found-footage style added to the authenticity. However, the film loose its way and becomes a little predictable towards the end. After the cult members drink their the magic orange juice, it's just a loan survivor left roaming around aimlessly, hunted by the guards for twenty minutes before getting on the chopper.

The characters may have been infuriating at times and the ending all too predictable, but the The Sacrament is a well-made and disturbing edition the Ti West filmography.