You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Director Ti West Aims for Mainstream With ‘Sacrament’

Backed by Eli Roth, Worldview Entertainment, IM Global, pic world preemed at Venice Film Fest

Backed by Eli Roth, Worldview Entertainment and IM Global, horror helmer Ti West looks set to make a move toward the mainstream with “The Sacrament,” which world preemed on the Lido.

Written by West, “The Sacrament” follows two journos shooting a doc about man’s attempt to locate his missing sister. They find her in a rural cult preparing for a mass suicide, and the trio are soon racing to escape with their lives.

Just 32, but now with six features under his belt, West established his genre credentials with fanboy faves “House of the Devil,” “Trigger Man” and “The Innkeepers.”

“Having made all types of supernatural horror films over the years, I really wanted to make something grounded in realism. Something confrontational. The approach is much grittier, more dramatic and emotional,” West said. “I want people to be frightened but also allow them to understand how and why the cult members’ lives would lead them to be a part of this community.”

Framed as a Vice Media travelogue and with a higher budget for West, “The Sacrament” is a “docu-style” movie, said Roth, who compared it to “The Last Exorcism.”

“ ‘The Sacrament’ is without question Ti West’s most commercial film to date,” said Christopher Woodrow at Worldview Entertainment, which produced and financed the film.

IM Global has held back on presales, CEO Stuart Ford said.

“We’re huge fans of Ti West — from the outset we thought ‘The Sacrament’ had the elements for a breakout. Pairing Eli (Roth) with him is an exciting idea for anyone who’s a connoisseur of genre movies,” Ford said.

He added IM Global’s genre division Octane is finding genre films attract more and more mainstream distribs and play to mainstream audiences around the world.

“Our sales and marketing team is constantly encouraging distributors to look at new genres. We live in a global industry where the traditional safety blankets of TV sales and DVD are getting thinner by the day.”

“Theatrical potential, and therefore real quality, is more important to buyers than ever. So the distributors who maybe bought horror successes like ‘Paranormal Activity,’ ‘Insidious’ or ‘Sinister’ from us might also invest in an urban horror comedy like ‘A Haunted House.’ ”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Slam

    Film Review: ‘Slam’

    The disappearance of a fearless female Palestinian-Australian slam poet triggers suspense and powerful social and political commentary in “Slam,” an outstanding slow-burn thriller by expat Indian filmmaker Partho Sen-Gupta (“Sunrise”). Starring Palestinian actor Adam Bakri (“Omar,” “Official Secrets”) as the missing woman’s conflicted brother, and leading Aussie performer Rachael Blake as a troubled cop, Opening [...]

  • Igo Kantor

    Igo Kantor, Producer and Post-Production Executive, Dies at 89

    Igo Kantor, whose Hollywood career took him from Howard Hughes’ projection room to supervising post-production on “Easy Rider” and producing B-movies like “Kingdom of the Spiders” and “Mutant,” died Oct. 15. He was 89. Kantor, who was born in Vienna and raised in Lisbon, met “Dillinger” director Max Nosseck on the ship to New York. [...]

  • The Lion King

    Average Movie Ticket Price Falls 4% in Third Quarter of 2019

    Average ticket prices for the third quarter have dropped 4% to $8.93, down from Q2’s $9.26, the National Association of Theatre Owners announced today. However, compared with the third quarter of 2018, ticket price has risen 1.1% from $8.83. The summer box office is down 2.13% from 2018, though the third quarter box office is [...]

  • Tilda Swinton to Preside Over The

    Tilda Swinton to Preside Over Marrakech Film Festival

    Tilda Swinton, the iconoclastic British actress and producer, is set to preside over the 18th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival, succeeding to American director James Gray. Swinton, who won an Oscar and a BAFTA award for best supporting actress for “Michael Clayton,” has been leading an eclectic acting career. She has collaborated with [...]

  • The King Netflix

    Middleburg Film Festival Brings Hollywood to Virginia

    For the last seven years, audiences have flocked to the Middleburg Film Festival. Running October 17th – 21st, and situated in the wine-country hills of historic Middleburg, Virg., the festival usually highlights some of the year’s buzziest titles, and 2019 is no exception. “We’re a smaller festival with fewer overall screenings than other events, so we [...]

  • Kelly McCormick and David Leitch'Fast &

    'Wheelman' Director to Helm 'Versus' From David Leitch, Kelly McCormick (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Wheelman” director Jeremy Rush is in negotiations to helm the action movie “Versus,” with Kelly McCormick and David Leitch producing. Rush will direct the Universal movie from a script penned by “Three Musketeers” scribe Alex Litvak and “American Assassin” writer Mike Finch. Plot details are being kept under wraps, though it will follow the genre [...]

  • Taika Waititi Jojo Rabbit Premiere

    Why Director Taika Waititi Decided to Play Adolf Hitler in 'Jojo Rabbit'

    “Fox Searchlight blackmailed me into doing it,” Taika Waititi told Variety of playing Adolf Hilter in “Jojo Rabbit” at the film’s premiere at American Legion Post 43 on Tuesday night in Hollywood. Staying mum when asked which other actors had been on his wish list to play the role, Waititi explained why he eventually decided [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content