The Sacrament (2014)



Critic Consensus: While it may be a bit too slow for some, The Sacrament offers enough tense atmosphere and intriguing ideas to satisfy discerning horror buffs.

Movie Info

From acclaimed writer/director Ti West (The House of the Devil) and master of horror Eli Roth (Hostel), THE SACRAMENT follows two journalists as they set out to document their friend's journey to find his missing sister. They travel to "Eden Parish," a self-sustained utopia. At the center of this small, religious, socialist community is a mysterious leader known only as "Father." As their friend reunites with his sister, it becomes apparent to the newcomers that this paradise may not be as it … More

Rating: R (for disturbing violent content including bloody images, language and brief drug use)
Genre: Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Ti West
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 19, 2014
Box Office: $9.0k
Magnet Releasing - Official Site


as Caroline

as Father

as Carpenter

as Guide #2

as Laundry Girl
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Critic Reviews for The Sacrament

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (15)

West's found-footage structure doesn't always entirely make sense, but it's easy to forgive "The Sacrament" its flaws.

Full Review… | June 26, 2014
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The first half is a cautiously dread-inducing tour de force... The second half, however, when all hell breaks loose a little too quickly, is the disappointment.

Full Review… | June 13, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Everything that happens is what you'd expect, and the choice of subject and the modifications West has made to the generic conventions don't add much to the suspense or thrills.

Full Review… | June 12, 2014
Boston Globe
Top Critic

The Sacrament may not be a good movie, but it has enough virtues - enough gripping, well-put-together moments - that it made me reconsider my opinion of West as a director.

Full Review… | June 6, 2014
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

The tension fizzles as The Sacrament narrows into predictability, indulging every cliché of found-footage filmmaking and Jonestown-styled cult apocalypticism.

Full Review… | June 6, 2014
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Shifts from the unnerving to the hollow after it becomes evident that Mr. West is more interested in showing how his characters die than how they lived.

Full Review… | June 5, 2014
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Sacrament


Ti West is usually a competent director but he shows in this sloppy and horribly edited movie that he doesn't seem to understand at all how the found footage device should be used, as he even forces the characters to carry a camera up and down in the most ludicrous of situations.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


This is a disturbing movie, which for fans of edgy filmmaking, makes it a very interesting movie. It is not really a horror film. It should really say "Based on a true story," the story being the Jonestown massacre of 1978. But its a fictional yarn loosely based on the real life events. It was intriguing enough to make me look Jonestown on Wikipedia (for the record, the actual massacre was way worse than what happens in this movie).

There are a lot of Ti West fans out there, some of my favorite critics included. Unfortunately his style is a bit slow for my taste (and that is not a criticism of his work ... I am just not a fan of "slow-burn" movies. ADHD maybe?).

It is another found footage "docudrama," but thankfully doesn't stick strictly to found footage rules. As such, there is no shaky camera and things happening off-screen.


If you want to get a sense of what it was like when the adults and children (including babies) were given cyanide-laced Kool Aid, you won't be disappointed. Not-a-fun-fact: this is where the "drinking the Kool Aid" phrase originated, which I found out for the first time reading up on the actual circumstance of the tragedy.

The sense of foreboding and solid acting keeps this slow-burn very entertaining indeed.

Mark B.
Mark Beckford

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The Sacrament Quotes

– Submitted by david s (8 months ago)

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