31 Horrifying Days- Day 14: The Sacrament (2014)

Filmed “mockumentary” style much in the same way as recent fave Lucky Bastard. The Sacrament follows VICE magazine journalist and photogs on a trip to a commune to see Eden Parish a commune/cult previously guarded in secrecy that quickly finds them in a fight for their lives.

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As the Mummy said “a good cast is worth repeating”

Amy Seimetz is Caroline. True believer who encourages her brother and VICE mag to visit. She played Aimee in You’re Next. AJ Bowen (who has lost considerable weight) who played Crispian and Joe Swanberg who played Drake from You’re Next play the interviewer and photographer.

Ti West directed the Sacrament and starred as Tariq in You’re Next. Kentucky Audley (who starred in Amy’s directorial debut Sun Don’t Shine) plays her fashion photog brother. Eli Roth (Hostel) “presents” this.

It’s all connected. Giving work to your talented friends is always a good choice.

Visually this movie is impressive. It’s shot in perfectly to be very quintessential “hipster/journalist/highbrow/trendy swagger. AJ Bowen nails it. Gene Jones gives me the creeps as the well spoken and exceedingly charismatic cult leader. Bowen’s Sam becomes concerned about the well being of the commune’s members even though most of them are happy. He’s granted an interview with The Father, who gets defensive about the story that Sam is trying to spin. Sam has found out that the followers have given their life’s savings (which is a little silly, since many interviewed said that the Father saved them from a life of crime, addiction and poverty) and after the face to face, Sam receives a note saying “Please Help Us” from a young girl.

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The trio of journalists are set to leave the next morning, but Sam tries to bring the young girl with them. The Father sees that he and his cult will be negatively exposed and police will be involved so he shoots the helicopter pilot (who implausibly waits for the VICE crew while bleeding out. nonsense) and then Jake and Sam end up in a fight to save their asses while the Father encourages his followers the take “the last sacrament” and sends gunmen to finish the job.

The set up is long. LONG.

But worth it.

The film is based on 1978’s real life Jonestown Massacre and cult The People’s Temple. Jim Jones, upon figurig out that he was going to be exposed called followers to his settlement in Guyana. People were set working long hours in crowded living conditions. While some wished to be there and living off the land, there was no changing your mind. Jones wouldn’t allow anyone to leave and was an egomaniac. Instead of edgy reporters visiting, it was congressman Leo Ryan, NBC crew and concerned family members. One of the NBC crew was handed a note with names of people who wanted to leave and were prisoner. They tried to leave, Ryan staying behind (as Sam did) to make sure that members weren’t hurt. But then they were attacked at the airport. Jones convinced them that the US government would come in and punish them.. the only way out would be poison punch.

based on a true story with excellent modern touches and a recognizable but not obnoxiously famous cast? I dig.

4.25/5

Movie Reviews #8-#11 (City of Bones, You’re Next, The World’s End)

Spoiler minimal reviews of the week’s hottest Sci-fi, Urban Fantasy and Horror titles + one direct to DVD waste of time.

The World’s End– Was more serious and heartfelt than I thought it would be. Gary King (Simon Pegg) borders on unrelatable (while reminding me of Charlize’s character in Young Adult) as a forty something 12 stepper looking to reclaim his lost dream… of hitting 12 pubs  in one night on a crawl in his hometown of Newton Haven that they call “The Golden Mile” he hooks up with his estranged friends… and while they may not have picture perfect lives, most are beyond clinging to their frat boy dream. Through a series of deceptions, Gary convinces his friends to join him and reclaim the glory they/he has lost…. and then some don’t-call-them-robots filled with blue blood show up and start replacing the whole town of Newton Haven. There was so much awkward, “You aren’t as cool as me! I’m the King! Gary King!”

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The special effects were really cool… better than Hot Fuzz, but doesn’t hold a candle to Shaun of the Dead. 3.5 Pints!

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

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I didn’t read the books and was only slightly aware of what to expect. (I wanted to read the books before I saw the movie… didn’t pan out, whatevs). It’s about a girl, Clary, who starts coming into a power that her mother has desperately been hiding from her. On her birthday, after sneaking into a club and seeing a demon murdered… a chain of events unfolds which ends with her mom missing, her “best friend” being attacked by vampires and an interesting bunch of Shadow Hunters, powerful dudes, werewolves and demons making a grab for the mortal cup which Clary holds the key to. This movie was visually awesome. The demons were exceptionally cool, and I’m a little bit of an amateur architecture nerd… it was really awesome. It was also a little like Star Wars… lol. Clary was awesome and after realistic amounts of being stunned and overwhelmed grasps her new found powers and charges bravely forward. Oh and also, everyone who is all “boohoo, poor Simon” I’m telling you right now: Clary was clear that she didn’t have feelings for him and he was all “but I love youuuuu and I’m sooo sad” Yeah? Too bad. She doesn’t have to love you just because you are nice to her. Friendzoning is BS.

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Jonathan Rhys Meyers had incredibly bad hair in this movie. But he is really just a fantastic looking human being. Can’t wait to see how he does Dracula, BTW.

Irregardless… 4.5 Mortal Cups

You’re Next– A wealthy family is reuniting for their parents 35th wedding anniversary, with their own significant others in tow where a group of killers terrorizing the out of the way vacation home neighborhood set their sights on the dinner party. The women really have the lockdown on being awesome in this movie… well, one specifically.

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She was raised on a survivalist compound. Yeah. no one saw that coming. Especially not the mysterious psychos.

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(But the mom gets bonus points… male family members were treating her as irrational while they would have done better to listen to her paranoid meltdown). The gore, the survival tips, the plot, the creepy cute masks, the coldblooded killers, the surprises… eeep… No one is NOT over-killed. So many moments to gasp, and clever writing that sets it apart from others in the genre. 5 Severed Arteries!

Bonus Content:

The Cloth– which I was supposed to review last week. The big names promoting this movie hardly made an appearance. Promiscuous blond guy tells virginal Mexican girl that she’s so uptight because she never got laid. There’s a threesome that was highly unnecessary and just pandered to male fantasy with out any regard for plot. The opening scene was really gross and cool (a girl is getting a demon exorcised and blood is pouring out of her mouth and it’s irrationally gross and well done… sadly, that seemed to be all this movie had to offer. 1 Star.