What surprised me the most about The Sacrament was how simple the story was. This unfortunately was also what disappointed me most about the movie. If you've ever watched any documentary about cults, or most specifically if you know the story of the Jonestown massacre, then this is the most predictable movie ever. So I guess I was disappointed that the movie was basically just a simplistic retelling of Jonestown with nothing really new added to the story. Writer and director Ti West was obviously going for the more realistic approach to the story and I would say he excelled at that.
My new favorite AJ Bowen comes back to me as nice guy Sam, the guy who can't help but try to do something when he finds out the sinister happenings at Eden Parish. My goodness, he's adorable and I want him. His co-star from A Horrible Way to Die, Amy Seimetz, is with him again here as Caroline. She is perfect as the jolly, yet creepy, everything-is-wonderful-here cult girl who spouts nothing but positives about Eden Parish - and you don't believe a single word of it. In an eerie reminder of the leader of the Peoples Temple of Jonestown, actor Gene Jones portrays Father. He does very much resemble a father figure (in fact, he looks a lot like my deceased grandfather) whom you believe could possess the charm and charisma to have power over all these people. Joe Swanberg and Kentucker Audley as Jake and Patrick respectively have their moments here and there but are mostly left in the background, or behind the camera.
After this, there are a couple more shock moments that haunted me for the rest of the evening, and the film concludes. Though The Sacrament was predictable and maybe less than I hoped for story-wise, I was still very satisfied with what I got. The film is a tight, tense thriller made by a filmmaker who more than knows what he's doing, and the acting is perfect by all involved. Thumbs up.