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The Sacrament Blu-ray Review

The Sacrament Blu-ray

Ti West’s “The Sacrament” is a haunting and disturbing horror film.

The plot: Wanting to check up on his sister Caroline, Patrick (and his two Vice Magazine buds Sam and Jake) travel to a remote commune somewhere in South America dubbed Eden Parish. This is no mere vacation, however, as the trio decides to document/film their trip in the event that it provides a story. At first glance, the commune (run by a man known only as The Father) seems like a healthy place in which the inhabitants live off the land and to try to better themselves, but it soon becomes apparent that this “paradise” is nothing more than a cult that harbors dark secrets.

Loosely based on the Jonestown Massacre, the Eli Roth presented “The Sacrament” is not a conventional horror film. It’s not a slasher, it’s not a jump scare movie, it’s not a twist ending movie, and it’s not a supernatural flick. The horror here comes from the all too real gut wrenching events that transpire in the finale. While it’s evident from the beginning that things will go south for the characters, it’s writer/director Ti West’s talent as a filmmaker that make this movie so effective. Like in his previous “slow burn” films such as the underrated “The Innkeepers,” West skillfully builds an atmosphere and creates a sense of dread that makes the movie even more haunting than it already is.

It should be noted that “The Sacrament” does contain a found footage shaky cam approach. While this was no doubt elicit some groans for horror fans tired of that genre, it generally works well here. You can always make the case that the characters wouldn’t ALWAYS be filming, but that’s a common complaint in the found footage genre.

While the entire cast is solid all around, actor Gene Jones (who plays The Father) gives the film’s best performance. I don’t want to spoil the character for audiences who have yet to see this movie, but suffice to say, he makes the character a decidedly creepy human monster.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? Despite how one may feel about the shaky cam, this is a really picturesque movie thanks to the Georgia location shooting.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The dialogue, music, and sound f/x sound sublime.

Extras:
* “AXS TV: A Look At The Sacrament”- The standard Magnolia disc AXS TV featurette about the film.
* Magnolia trailers.
* “Creating The Sacrament: Revealing The Vision” contains cast and crew interviews, film clips, behind-the-scenes clips, discussions about the material and production, etc.
* “Working With The Director: The Ti West Experience”- The cast and crew talk about Ti West.
* “Preparing For Takeoff: Behind The Scenes Helicopter Sequence”- A brief 5 minute look at the making of a certain scene.
* A solid commentary by Ti West, AJ Bowen, and Amy Seimetz. Ti West provides much of the conversation as he talks about cut scenes, production stories, the helicopter, the cast, and much more.

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August 18, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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