This brings us to Eli Roth's 2013's "The Sacrament." Directed by Ti West, this is a modern re-telling of the horror that forever stained a coastal South American country. Though fiction, this film's parallels with the actual events in Jonestown are no coincidence. A film crew heads to a mysterious location near the equator to do a story on The Eden Parish. This ministry (..cult) collected addicts, drunks, and victims of western imperialistic and racist actions (their words, not mine) and gave them hope, love, and importance, At first all looks Kosher (forgive the choice of words). Then our film crew meets "Father" (Gene Jones). Sam (AJ Bowen) is able to interview this charismatic figure. Sam is instantly creeped out by this cult leader. After the interview, Sam and Jake (Joe Swanberg), the cameraman, receive indications that not all is well in Eden Parish. With some snooping, our duo realize that many of the church-members are captives who are not allowed to leave. Further evidence suggests that "Father" has addicted the beautiful Caroline (Amy Seimetz) to drugs and has lots of carnal relations with her.
The vision of a paradise devolves into images of prison camps as many of the members beg our film crew to rescue them from oppression. However holy "Father" makes himself appear, minimal scrutiny suggests something very horrific. Unfortunately, NO ONE LEAVES ALIVE! Now Sam and Jake must decide whether to cut and run or attempt to rescue some traumatized women and children. We should mention Patrick (Kentucky Audley), the third member of the film crew, and Caroline's brother. The cult has plans for him. People who remember accounts of Jonestown in 1978 know how this will end. The ending won't be easy to watch, consider yourself warned.
Jim Jones, before founding Jonestown, was rubbing elbows with San Francisco's political elite. President Jimmy Carter, and his wife Rosalind were admirers of his. Realizing that U.S. tax laws might put a hurt on his ministry, he moved it to Guyana. The rest is history....unfortunately, a largely forgotten piece of history. Eli Roth and Ti West have made an important film, and hopefully the dangers of Jim Jones-type figures will be realized. Evil will not enter your door breathing fire and screaming carnage. Evil will be welcomed into our homes uttering guidance for salvation and peace. Mr. Roth and Mr. West tell one such story.