films seen
9
average score
2.16*
nationality
USA - 42 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Solid pieces

The Sacrament

by Ti West
2013 / 99m - USA
Horror, Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
The Sacrament poster

Even though Ti West has quite the cult following in the horror scene, I can't say I'm a pretty big fan. He's part of a tight-nit group of actors/directors, including Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen en Adam Wingard (You're Next, VHS 2, A Horrible Way To Die, Pop Skull), but their output is fickle and when they come together there's a certain in-crowd vibe that tends to set back their films.

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The Sacrament could've been like that. With West in the director's chair and Swanberg/Bowen taking up the leads, I didn't expect a whole lot from this film. But things turned out differently. While it doesn't live up to its full potential, The Sacrament is definitely a solid horror flick and by far the best thing West has ever directed.

At heart a faux documentary, Swanberg and Bowen set out to Africa to recover the sister of Alex. Alex' sister ended up in Eden Parish, a community/sect for people who've vowed to live their lives in peace. When they arrive the place looks like hippy paradise, but soon the first cracks start to appear. When they meet up with the leader of the parish, things take a turn for the worse.

The Sacrament isn't all that different from other cult/sect horror films, but West takes his time to provide a solid build-up, which pays off double later on. Swanberg isn't the best of actors but he does a decent job here, Bowen is better as the lead of the group. But it's Gene Jones who deserves most of the credit for his role as leader of the parish. His character is hard to read, enigmatic and creepy, adding some much-needed realism to the story. While it's clear from the start where West is taking his audience, Jones succeeds in spreading some doubt halfway through the film.

The documentary-style falls flat near the end (and it doesn't seem all too consistent either), but apart from that The Sacrament is a disturbing, creepy little film that, at least in part, restored my faith in West's skills. It seems that after some goofing around these guys are finally getting their act together again. Still nothing that could match a film like Wingard's Pop Skull, but The Sacrament is a solid horror flick with a strong build-up and a nasty ending which fans of sects and occult communities will be sure to appreciate.

The inoffensive

In a Valley of Violence

by Ti West
2016 / 104m - USA
Western
3.0*/5.0*
In a Valley of Violence poster

Not a big Ti West fan, not a western fan at all, liked this film though. Not sure what exactly made the difference, but Hawke in the lead surely helped and the qualms between the two sides made for a simple but tense and entertaining battle. It's never going to be my favorite genre, but this was much better than I expected it to be.

Worthy but flawed

The Innkeepers

by Ti West
2011 / 101m - USA
Horror, Mystery
2.5*/5.0*
The Innkeepers poster

Dubious filler

X

by Ti West
2022 / 105m - USA
Horror
2.0*/5.0*
X poster

Ti West returns with a new horror film. After directing a slew of TV series he found a home at A24 to once again pay homage to the past. This time around West goes for the 70s, borrowing royally from slashers and revenge flicks of the era. The result is flawed, with West getting stuck pandering to fans of said era, rather than delivering an actual good horror flick.

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A team of filmmakers wants to make it big. Preempting the boom of the home video market, they set off to shoot an X-rated film in an old man's barn. When they arrive they get to work, but the old man behaves oddly, and once they meet his wife things get truly weird and awkward.

The make-up is pretty distracting, the horror elements are tame, the introduction is way too long and the performances are mediocre. It takes West a long time to get to the good part, but when it finally arrives the film feels unfocused and random. Apart from a handful of decent moments (the croc scare in the first half is cool), this turned out to be a very unmemorable film.

Plain forgettable

Pearl

by Ti West
2022 / 103m - USA
Drama, Horror
1.5*/5.0*
Pearl poster

Eh. I wasn't a big fan of X, but at least that film had a clear goal. I didn't think it was a film that needed a franchise, the buzz and popularity clearly pulled it in a different direction. Now there's a surprisingly straight-faced prequel about the lead character. Ti West doing drama with a splash of horror. What could go wrong, right?

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Pearl is a young girl with big dreams, but she lives on a far where she helps out her mother while taking care of her ill father. She wants to be in the pictures as a dancer, but her mom keeps her on a short leash. Slowly, Pearl loses her sense of reality and she'll go all the way just to realize her dream.

Pearl isn't a very interesting character, the cinematography and 1918 setting felt cheap and underdeveloped and West is a terrible drama director. There are attempts at dark comedy that fail pretty hard and the horror is almost completely absent. At least Goth gave it the old college try, other than that, a complete bore.

Big nopes

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever

by Ti West
2009 / 86m - USA
Sci-fi, Horror
1.0*/5.0*
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever poster

The House of the Devil

by Ti West
2009 / 95m - USA
Horror
1.0*/5.0*
The House of the Devil poster