May 28, 2016

VOD Review: Sacrifice (2016)

"As is usually the case, the book was probably better than the movie."
(aka The Shetland Mysteries.)
Release Date: April 29th.
Country: UK.
Rating: NR.
Written by: Sharon Bolton and Peter A. Dowling.
Directed by: Peter A. Dowling.
Starring: Radha Mitchell, Rupert Graves, Ian McElhinney, and David Robb.

Sacrifice is based on a popular book of the same name by S.A. Bolton, and so we went into it expecting the movie to be something special.

I mean, all of those book readers can't be wrong, right?


After suffering four miscarriages, Dr. Tora Hamilton and her husband move to a small Shetland Island community, in hopes of adopting a new baby. She's heartbroken over her losses, but her new home is beautiful and full of hope, so things are looking up. *Cue dramatic music.

When a horse drops dead on her property, she decides to grab a backhoe and dig a massive grave for it  (because what Doctor wouldn't do exactly that), which leads her to discover a corpse buried in the soil. The corpse is missing its heart, and is covered in some sort of Satanic symbols, so she's pretty sure that something is amiss.

When the local Police don't seem to give a shit about her discovery, she sets out to discover the identity of the corpse, and whoever killed her, because again, what Doctor wouldn't do such a thing, especially after moving to a foreign place where everyone looks at her as outsider to begin with? Over the course of her investigation, she discovers a secret society that likes to sacrifice women (to the God of Wheat, or something), and it's not long before she becomes a target herself.

The location is gorgeous, and it's captured very well on camera; the cast is solid (Radha Mitchell is always a welcomed sight, and it was great to see Ian McElhinney in something other than Game of Thrones); and the ritualistic  murder plot is interesting enough (if over-complicated and silly); but at the point where Radha Mitchell, whose character has just moved to a small Shetland community, finds a body and confronts the local D.I. with the "Are you really going to turn your back on a ritual murder!" dialogue gem, we knew that we were in for a long 90-minutes.

By the time the movie ended, we were convinced that the producers knew that the movie didn't turn out all that great, and that they just pieced together whatever footage they had to try recoup some of the money that they spent on its production. The ending scene is the perfect example of this: ***ENDING SPOILERS*** After all is said and done, two characters are standing there surveying a crime scene, having a discussion about what happened, and one of them says "They were all someone's daughter!" Then, there's a 5-second shot of a car driving away, and the credits roll; credits which oddly only took a minute or so to scroll by. ***END SPOILERS***

This movie was just too busy, didn't focus and build on the interesting parts of the story, and it was plagued by some bad dialogue and ridiculous character motivation.

A human corpse, a dead horse, and some knife violence. It's all pretty tame though.


Sacrifice plays and feels like a movie of the week that you would have found on one of the Big 4 Networks back in the 70's & 80's; it looks great, and has a solid cast, but the plot is safe and familiar, you can see its twists and turns coming well before they occur, and it doesn't pack much of a punch at all.

Catch this one for free on Netflix or Cable (when it gets there), if you really feel compelled to see it.


Sacrifice is on VOD now.

Radha Mitchell has been one of our faves since Pitch Black.

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