ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Sacrifice (2016)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Peter A. Dowling

Starring:
Radha Mitchell/Dr. Hamilton
Rupert Graves/Duncan
Ian McElhinney/McKie
Joanne Crawford/Sgt. Tulloch
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
After a personal tragedy, a doctor (Radha Micthell) and her rich cat husband (Rupert Graves) move to the Shetland Islands right off Scotland. A dead a body is eventually found (in their yard of course) – the doc gets on the case and next thing you know “somebody” wants her dead.
THE LOWDOWN

SACRIFICE (based on by Sharon Bolton's novel of the same name) came out of nowhere for me. I didn’t know of the film’s existence until a screener Dumbo Dropped into my Inbox. Digging the cast (Radha Micthell always makes for reliable genre heroine) and curious as to the initial premise, I gave it a whirl and found myself amused to varied degrees the whole way through. SACRIFICE started off real strong, it then put forth a stimulating mystery and tagged us to the intrepid Radha Micthell as she pushed, pushed and pushed (girl won't back down at any cost...damn) to resolve said enigma.

Although the whodunit behind the macabre deeds wasn’t too hard to crack, the WHAT and WHY were definitely unique and I respected that. Films of this ilk usually have to do with that bitch Satan and sad sack peeps doing “this” or “that” in his name, so it was swell to have the root of the macabre happenings be about something else for a freaking change. The film’s jaw dropping scenery also helped in making this watch a more gripping one. The mountain setting and the particular atmosphere (grey skies and green trees) gave this somewhat familiar tale (in terms of set-up and chain of events anyways) a fresh coat of paint. There was a movie in 2005 called THE DARK (directed by John Fawcett) with Sean Bean which was shot in the gorgeous Isle of Man, the film was “okay” but the location elevated it to a higher plane. SACRIFICE reminded me of that one.

A pat on the ass and a shot of Whiskey goes out to writer/director Peter A. Dowling for keeping me in the game via the engrossing visual way he told his story, the potent creepiness injections and the easy pacing. The man has talent! Add to all that solid lead players (Radha Mitchell and Rupert Graves were both on top of their game while hottie Joanne Crawford stole most of her scenes), a talented supporting cast (thespians like Ian McElhinney and Declan Conlon kicking that acting asss) that sold their roles and a couple of white knuckled action-ish set pieces that hit the spot and you get a decent horror watch!

Any drawbacks? Some. For starters I loathed the keyboard abusing musical score. It was all-wrong for the film and lessened the impact of some of it scenes often enough. Then there was the occasional suspension of disbelief grenades thrown at me and testing my patience (like the lead villain falling for the oldest trick in the book). I groaned a couple of times here, which is never good. Finally, the ins and outs of the WHY was muddled in places (or I'm an imbecile, which isn't much of a stretch. Was it me or did the film promise something monstrous early on and didn't deliver in the end? Maybe it was that bad Pizza Pocket woofed talking. Overall, I’ll probably forget SACRIFICE fairly quickly, but for what it was, it was well put together and acted. I enjoyed my time with it. Give it a shot! 

GORE
We get a nasty looking corpse and a brutal knife under the chin gag that took me aback!
T & A
Nope time for love Dr. Jones!
BOTTOM LINE
SACRIFICE was visually strikking, had a badass cast (I think I fell in movie love with Joanne Crawford on this one), grey yet beautiful locations, a fairly unique "evillllll" at work and had me hooked in the whole way. I can’t say I popped wood over the tacky musical score, the occasional tests of my disbelief and the semi all over the place back-story in terms of the WHY, but hey, that’s just me! In closing, SACRIFICE would be an ideal choice for when you want to watch a horror film with somebody that is not a hardcore fan and have no idea what to tap.
BULL'S EYE
SACRIFICE screens today April 29th at New York’s IFC Center and hits all digital platforms today too.

The film was shot in Ireland, standing in for Scotland.
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