Ti West (“The Innkeepers”) is the modern master of slow-burning horror. Eli Roth (“Hostel”) is the big name in gorefests. If you put them together, you might not think a found footage horror movie would be the result, but that’s the case with the West-directed, Roth-produced “The Sacrament.”
The film, which clearly took more than a handful of notes on the Jonestown Massacre, follows a fashion photographer (Kentucker Audley) who travels with a group of co-workers (Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen) to visit his sister (Amy Seimetz) at the Eden Parish commune. Seimetz has recently left a drug rehabilitation program, and seems happy to have found a new home and family. But while the location seems idyllic, there’s something terrible lurking beneath the surface, and the leader of the group (Gene Jones) has something sinister planned.
West has worked in found footage before with”Second Honeymoon,” his segment in “V/H/S,” but this is his first feature in the subgenre. The trailer below suggests that it might follow West’s patient sense of structure, with the main characters taking their sweet time to realize something is terribly wrong while we wait for the other shoe to drop. But how will Roth’s involvement and the deliberately grungy aesthetic affect a director whose style seems more along the lines of Roman Polanski than Lucio Fulci? A movie where the characters wait around for 75 minutes, only to end up being dismembered as no one puts down the damn camera and runs?
At any rate, it’ll be interesting to see. “The Sacrament” will be released on iTunes and On Demand May 1 and in theaters June 6.