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Film / The Sacrament

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The Sacrament is a Found Footage horror film directed by Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers).

Two journalists document their friend's search for their missing sister. They travel to "Eden Parish", a small religious community lead by a mysterious man known as "Father". It soon becomes clear that this idyllic utopia is not what it seems.

This movie contain examples of the following tropes:

  • Affably Evil: Father is a very charismatic individual.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: A small one.
    Father: Why couldn't you leave us alone?
  • Ate His Gun: Father's suicide.
  • Cradling Your Kill: Caroline does this as she kills her brother.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Eden Parish initially comes off as a self-sustained utopia where people can live together regardless of the race or background. It's only until later that we find out that the people aren't allowed to leave, and those that disobey the rules are severely punished.
  • Cult: Eden Parish in a nutshell.
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  • Downer Ending: Also a Foregone Conclusion. Given the story's connection to Jonestown, there's only so many ways this can end up.
  • Drinking the Kool-Aid: The Jonestown-inspired finale.
  • The Dragon: Caroline serves as this to Father.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: By the end of the film, everyone except for the two Vice reporters are dead.
  • Freakier Than Fiction: The events in the film are much tamer than the actual events at Jonestown. 918 people died in real life, compared to the less than two hundred in the film. Also, the murdered outsiders are only reporters in the film, while an actual US Congressman was murdered by the people of Jonestown in real life.
  • Holier Than Thou: Father claims to be this. At the end of the film, we see him snorting coke and it's implied he's having sex with Caroline.
  • Infant Immortality: Horrifically subverted as we see a mother feeding her infant poison during the mass suicide.
    • Then there is the mother slashing her own daughter's throat to prevent her from getting shot by the guards.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Caroline has a wordless version of this reaction after she kills her brother.
    • Wendy, the parish's doctor, also has a silent version of this upon seeing the bodies of the parish members littering the grounds around her. When she later committed her own suicide, she left behind a note asking for forgiveness.
  • Oh, Crap!: When the reporters both see Savannah, a mute girl's note, says "Please help us."
  • Scary Black Man: The guards patrolling the outskirts of Eden Parish are comprised of this.
  • Self-Immolation: Caroline's suicide.
  • The Voice: We only hear Father over the intercom for the first half of the film.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Inspired from the real life Jonestown Massacre, to an eerie degree. Father making the threat that the government will send soldiers to kill his followers and steal their children was also a real-life threat Jim Jones used to urge his congregation to mass suicide.

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