In many ways, horror filmmaking exists in its own little bubble. There are actors and directors that are icons of the genre that are virtual unknowns to anyone who isn’t a horror fan. One of the brightest rising stars in the new generation of horror filmmaking, Ti West is on track to be one of the genre greats. West reminds us all why he’s garnered this reputation in the new red-band trailer for his latest film, The Sacrament.
The film follows two Vice Media reporters who set out to document their friend’s search for his missing sister. The search takes them to the remote and utopic compound of Eden Parish, lead by a Jim Jones-esque man known only as Father. The idyllic documentary turns into a nightmare as they uncover the dark truth behind Eden Parish.
The Sacrament has Ti West as its director and genre staple Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel) as its producer, but also boasts a number of big genre players in front of the camera. It’s three main leads, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, and Amy Seimetz, all starred in the excellent You’re Next and have a number of other horror titles on their resumes. The only relative newcomer to the genre is Gene Jones (the man in the gas station in No Country For Old Men) and he looks enigmatic and creepy as hell as Father.
The trailer gives a fantastic sense of the tension and paranoia that West fills all his films with. The found-footage horror format doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, although the format seems appropriate here. It seems reminiscent of the Gareth Evan’s V/H/S/2 segment Safe Haven, which also dealt with a religious cult, although West’s film seems to deal in bleak, horrific reality whereas Safe Haven went off the rails insane.
The Sacrament ran the festival circuit last year and is slated for a VOD release on May 5, and a limited U.S. theatrical run on June 6.