It ended up going a little unsung on release earlier this year, and not every Playlist staffer dug it, but this writer was quite taken with Ti West's "The Innkeepers" when he finally caught up with a few months back. An atmospheric, unsettling little ghost story with some fine performances from Sara Paxton and Pat Healy, it might have some silly moments and come a little unstuck at the end, but it was well made and genuinely creepy, cementing West's position as one of the fastest rising names in independent horror cinema.
With "V/H/S," which West contributed a segment to, currently going great guns on VOD ahead of a full theatrical release, and "The ABCs of Death," which the director also made a segment for, unspooling in Toronto any day now, there's no escaping the filmmaker (who first broke out with "House of the Devil"). And now, word has escaped of West's next full feature film. A press release from financiers Worldview Entertainment ("Killer Joe") reveals that the company, along with Octane, are backing West's next feature, "The Sacrament," which not surprisingly will be a horror/thriller.
Worldwide is bringing in another big horror name with Eli Roth (who's making his next feature, South America-set genre picture "The Green Inferno," shooting later this year with the company) coming on to 'present' the film. Curiously, the two filmmakers have an interesting connection, as West directed 2009's "Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever," a direct-to-video sequel to Roth's breakthrough horror picture (which West ultimately disowned, taking his name off the finished product). Clearly there's a kinship between them, with Roth commenting "I've been a Ti West fan since his first film and have watched him continue to grow into one of the smartest and most exciting filmmakers working today. We want to make this Ti's first mainstream movie, without sacrificing the quality and unflinching horror of the subject matter. And I'm thrilled to once again partner with Worldview Entertainment, as they fully appreciate what we bring to the project and are letting us run wild with it."
Though plot details are under wraps for now (we suspect, given the title, that there's some kind of religious aspect to the horror this time around), but it sounds like this could introduce West to his widest audience yet, although it seems like "The Side Effect," a sci-fi film which was to have starred Liv Tyler, has fallen off his dance card for the moment. Nevertheless, we could see "The Sacrament" very soon -- filming gets underway in Georgia later this month, so we could see it as soon as SXSW 2013.