Main cast: Sophie Stevens (Emma Pickman), Ludovic Hughes (Isaac Pickman), Lukas Loughran (Gunnar), Joanna Adde Dahl (Astrid Nygard), and Barbara Crampton (Renate Nygard)
Directors: Andy Collier and Toor Mian
Sacrifice is a low-budget flick set in Norway, but unlike some other horror flicks set in a rustic part of Europe like, say, Midsommar, it doesn’t try too hard to be pretentious and convoluted. It openly says that it is inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft, but at the end of the day, it’s just another horror movie set in a big house.
Emma and Isaac Pickman return to a rustic seaside village that Isaac came from, having inherited his mother’s old house. That house has a dark secret, though: Isaac recalls that his mother took him, when he was a boy, away from that place in great hurry and distress. Well, as they will soon learn, the place has secrets, all of them connected to Isaac. Poor pregnant Emma just wants some R&R in a nice place before going back to the US to deliver her baby, but whatever the dark forces that control this place have other plans…
Well, this one has some lovely scenery and a pleasant diversion of Barbara Crampton acting like a creepy Norwegian sheriff that always seem to be on the verge of using a taser on everyone. The acting on the whole is decent, although Ms Crampton seems to be verging on camp at times, but the movie is only compelling in its first half or so. That part is suspenseful, atmospheric, and tense.
Unfortunately, things soon become one-note and predictable. Characters begin conversing solely to dump information onto the audience, and it’s hard to be frightened in a movie that features characters that behave like puppets mouthing exposition non-stop. Emma starts experiencing dreams after dreams that become excuses to deliver increasingly tedious jump scares. Worse, the movie’s denouement is most anticlimactic in nature. While I understand that the people behind this movie may want to keep the nature of the entity worshiped or revered by these folks a secret to generate suspense, doing so means giving the audience an unsatisfying pay-off after having sit through an increasingly formulaic and predictable film.
If I sound horribly negative up to this point, that’s because I’m disappointed by how much of a wasted potential Sacrifice turns out to be. It has a decent cast, genre legend Barbara Crampton actually in a role instead of a glorified cameo, and a gorgeous backdrop to set the story in, and yet, the script just fizzles out of gas mid-way, and by the time the credits roll, I wish that someone would redo the second half of the film.
A good start, a tepid finish—three oogies a rating sounds just about right for Sacrifice.