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The Sacrament review

These events might seem familiar...

Ti West ( The Innkeepers ) makes horror films that burn slow and pay off big. This found-footage effort, however, is (comparatively) spritely and much more effective in build-up than denouement. Two “immersionist” journalists (AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg) accompany a photographer (Kentucker Audley) on a mission to save his sister (Amy Seimetz) from a happy-clappy cult.

What follows borrows so heavily from a genuine 1978 tragedy that it tips from intriguing dramatisation into empty reportage. The performances are excellent, the atmosphere tense, but West is too caught up in the facts to enlighten us further.

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Matt Glasby

Matt Glasby is a freelance film and TV journalist. You can find his work on Total Film - in print and online - as well as at publications like the Radio Times, Channel 4, DVD REview, Flicks, GQ, Hotdog, Little White Lies, and SFX, among others. He is also the author of several novels, including The Book of Horror: The Anatomy of Fear in Film and Britpop Cinema: From Trainspotting To This Is England.