14. The Sacrament (2013)
Best for: People scared by cults. Seriously though, if the events surrounding Jim Jones and Jonestown disturb you then maybe this film isn’t for you.
The Sacrament is a found footage film that hits a little too close to reality for my liking.
Heavily influenced by the tragic mass murder of entire families (over 900 people) in the 1978 Jonestown commune, the movie opens with fashion photographer, Patrick receiving a letter from his younger sister, a recovering addict, who has invited him to visit the drug free commune she has recently joined to turn her life around. Patrick thinks the trip would make a great documentary for Vice and brings along a reporter and camera man to help film it.
They fly in by helicopter, since the commune can only be reached by one, as the pilot instructs them they have exactly one day to stay before he leaves, with or without them. Immediately they are escorted into the compound by armed guard where Patrick meets his sister and the cult’s leader, a charismatic Southerner known as, The Father.
Everything seems fine at first. The people in the compound seem happy and prosperous, but after an interview with the Father goes South things start to go wrong quickly. The crew are approached by a group of dissidents who want their help to escape the Father’s brainwashing and abuse. Although the helicopter can’t possibly fit everybody who wishes to run away, they agree to help.
And Ii you know anything about the Jonestown massacre then you already know where this is heading.
Which is what helps The Sacrament in the long run because you just know how the movie has to end and this helps create an unending feeling of dread and tension that fills the entire movie. From the moment Patrick and his crew land you are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s not a matter of if, but when.
And when it finally does you’ll be bale to count the survivors on one hand.
13. Creep (2014)
Best for: Only those with solid friendships.
In the anonymous internet age that we live in these days, Creep ends up becoming a very relevant movie. We’ve all seen people out and about in society or even online who just seem a little… odd. And let’s be honest, to be odd these days, in 2015, is quite a feat.
That one Facebook friend you hardly know who comments on and likes every post you make.
The creepy Norman Bates type who is a burnt orange away from a full box.
Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation.
Aaron is just your normal aspiring videographer (yes Creep is found footage. What horror film isn’t these days?) who answers an ad on Craigslist from a man named Josef. Josef it turns out is dying and wants Aaron to film him in his daily activities so his unborn son can know his father once he grows up. Aaron agrees and films Josef pretending to bathe his son and then prepares to film a hike with Josef. While getting ready for the hike Aaron discovers a strange wolf mask in Josef’s closet named “Peachfuzz” that his father used to wear when he was young. Strange to be sure, but a job’s a job so Aaron keeps the camera rolling.
It only gets, well, creepier from there as Josef admits he’s taken photos of Aaron prior to their meeting, so he would know him before their meeting. After a late night shot of whiskey at Josef’s place he confides to Aaron that the Peachfuzz mask was something he actually wore while he raped his wife as he suspected she was heavily into bestiality. That’s just the wake up call Aaron needs to escape, which he does, but not before some more doubt is cast on Josef’s tall tales.
It may not sound like it from the synopsis above, but Creep is actually a horror comedy as the developing bromace between Aaron and Josef is played for laughs. The absurdity of the Peachfuzz mask combined with the extremes both men will go to in appeasing each other is borderline slapstick at times. But there is something genuinely creepy about Josef as I have no doubt real life people like him actually exist.
You may even know one.