This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Hollie Horror’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Ti West directs film-friends AJ Bowen and Joe Swanberg in The Sacrament, a film ripped straight from the real-life story of The People's Temple, or as everyone else knows it "The Jonestown Massacre." I thought about putting this review behind a spoiler, but seeing as how I probably wouldn't have watched this if I knew what it was, I'm not going to do that today. With that said, if you haven't seen it yet and you don't want to know anymore, stop fucking reading.
The film begins with The Knife's Heartbeats playing over the opening credits and I can't say I'm very certain what the song had to do with the movie? It just added another level of "why" to my expanding list of questions regarding West's choices.
The most important question being "why did Ti West think it was necessary to make a horror film which is more of a biopic where all the names have been changed and the events exploited?" and then release it as a found-footage film without really changing much of anything, leaving the audience wondering what happened to the end? I'm sorry but a moody, West film can not even begin to touch on the grotesque and horrifying real-life events which occurred in 1978, it's not even close to comparable.
Throughout the movie I would say a majority of the acting was questionable and there was a scene towards the end that I found rather repulsive. Right before Bowen's character escapes he drops to the ground and uses a dead body to cover himself as a shield, of course, it's one of the "hot girls" West filmed continuously throughout and it was as if the actors in the scene were stifling an urge to laugh as a the girl who was supposedly dead for about 20 minutes drools on Bowen's face. Maybe I'm seeing something there that I shouldn't take offense to, but I'm fucking sorry, this isn't some event you can make a good horror movie with, starring some of your friends and take lightly. The 920 people who died that day, they deserved better than that. It's insulting and disgusting.
The end of The Sacrament was like a cluster-fuck of stupidity. I just can't help but feel myself turning angry the more I think about this movie.
I've always defended Ti West as I'm a pretty big fan of The House of the Devil, but after seeing everything else he has done since then, I'm losing interest fast and wondering if that one movie was a fluke?