By: The Cinephiliac (Three Beers) –
What would you do if you decided to bury a dead horse you stumbled upon only to find a dead body six feet deep when you finished digging? Most people would call the police and let it go. Even then, a good majority probably wouldn’t even go as far to attempt to bury the horse. Dr. Tora Hamilton isn’t most people. When she does call the police after finding a dead body on the land of her husband’s, Duncan’s, family she decides to busy herself after a fourth miscarriage by solving the crime of who this mysterious dead woman with markings over her body is and why her abdomen is ripped out. Tora’s descent into detective work leads her down a surprising road filled with danger and mistrust of her new Scotland home.
“Oh God, is that the Loch Ness Monster?!”
Sacrifice is a well-made film. Flight Plan director Peter A. Dowling is astute at doing all the right things in the right places to make the story of Sacrifice interesting to engage with. The thrilling thematic elements along with the mysterious whodunnit aura melds perfectly with the film’s aptly utilized low-key lighting and dim, ominous mood. Radha Mitchell embraces her Nancy Drew tendencies, working well as a strong female lead looking to solve a death and the questions raised behind it.
While Sacrifice is a technically sound film it still needs work on its overall story. Sacrifice keeps its momentum going, but still gets a bit dull throughout and becomes grossly predictable. Not much is done with the story to send a true jolt of energy through it or send a wave of fear into the audience’s bodies. Sacrifice isn’t scary and only remotely suspenseful.
Most of the scares involve shots like this and escaping rooms within a millisecond of needing to.
I couldn’t help but compare Sacrifice to Edgar Wright’s suspense-filled comedy Hot Fuzz. A quiet seaside town in the UK hosting a sinister secret held by an upper echelon group of apathetic killers along with a disillusioned population. It’s up to one out of towner and their unaware sidekick to solve the case and change the tides. Granted, Hot Fuzz is much more fascinating due to its chemistry between Nick Frost and Simon Pegg along with how the story centers around Pegg’s adjustment to slow county life. It’s also worth nothing that Hot Fuzz is hysterical and peppers in a fair amount of tension and suspense. Sacrifice, on the other hand, takes itself too seriously, lacking any moments of humor, character building, or unconventional tension building. It’s a film told through the tunnel vision of Tora’s desire to solve this case at all costs.
What a minute, this all seems familiar…
Sacrifice is not a mind-blowing horror film or any overly impressive one, but it’s fair and will likely intrigue you if you choose to watch it.
Sacrifice (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Sip: for every mention or shot of the ancient markings.
Take a Sip: every time Tora questions someone about the murder
Take a Sip: every time she is somewhere she’s not supposed to be
Do a Shot: whenever you mentally insert lines or scenes from Hot Fuzz.