A Sacrifice Review

Eric Bana and Sadie Sink impress in this well-directed cult movie but its Sylvia Hoeks that absolutely steals the show with her performance.

Last Updated on June 27, 2024

A Sacrifice review

PLOT: American social psychologist Ben Monroe investigates a local cult connected to a disturbing event, while his daughter becomes embroiled with a mysterious local boy.

REVIEW: I love it when a film comes out of nowhere and manages to impress without a big budget or marketing campaign. Usually, it’s reserved for the festival circuit. But with so many films released every month, whether it’s in theaters or on streaming services, the likelihood has never been greater. And with leads like Eric Bana and Sadie Sink to help intrigue audiences, I think few will expect the wonderful character study that follows. Because as much as this is about a modern cult and its ill intentions, A Sacrifice very much focuses on the people involved and how they would get to such a place.

I’ve always enjoyed Eric Bana and he’s perfect here as Ben Monroe, an American psychologist living in Germany. He’s always had that everyman quality that makes him instantly relatable. Amongst all the chaos, he’s the film’s moral compass. This is why I really enjoy what they do to his character, giving him a little more dimension than these roles often allow. His investigation of a mysterious cult in Berlin leads him on a chase that brings danger to Ben’s life. At the same time, Ben’s daughter Mazzy is visiting for the summer and trying to repair their fractured relationship. Sadie Sink of Stranger Things continues to flex her acting muscles, bringing a lot of complexity to Mazzy. She sells every moment like her life depends on it and provides so much, whether it’s a “meet cute” with a boy or an intense moment with the cult, she nails it.

Eric Bana in A Sacrifice (2024).

Cult leaders have a certain indescribable quality when it comes to their aura. I’d argue, especially for a cult movie, that it’s the most important casting element. Sophie Rois manages to be an utter psychopath hidden beneath a smile. The way she convinces others to do despicable acts and the gaslighting to get them to complete their tasks is truly terrifying. Rois brings an energy that gives every scene involving her a feeling of underlying tension. You just never know what decision she’ll make, that the cult will then carry out. Sylvia Hoeks is absolutely phenomenal as Nina, the mysterious woman that Ben meets in Berlin. She has two scenes in particular that are absolute showcases for her. The less said about her role the better; just sit back and enjoy her greatness.

Based on a book by Nicholas Hogg, Jordan Scott (daughter of filmmaker Ridley Scott) adapted and directed the film herself. She does a wonderful job, really having a great eye for the beautiful Berlin architecture. She’s not afraid to let an actor tell the story of the scene with their eyes versus excessive exposition, which I will always appreciate. There’s so much handholding in modern cinema that a little bit of nuance and ambiguity goes a long way. A Sacrifice rides the line perfectly between the more fantastical side of a cult with a more grounded reality. A lot of that credit has to go to Scott. I’m not familiar with the source material, but it’s clear she really understood what worked about the cult element.

Sadie Sink in A Sacrifice (2024).

I have been waiting for a movie like A Sacrifice for quite some time. Cult films often go into such absurd territory that I was happy to see them nail the ethereal tone with a grounded reality. This is truly a character piece focusing on many different people and the intense changes they go through during the film. Anyone who makes contact with the cult will have their life changed in one way or another. I recommend going into this one knowing as little as possible. It’s a slow burn with a great payoff and some truly fantastic performances.

A SACRIFICE IS PLAYING IN THEATERS ON JUNE 28TH, 2024.

A Sacrifice

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About the Author

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Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on JoBlo.com, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.