A doctor and her husband move to a remote Scottish Isle to adopt a child,
only to discover an ancient Pagan cult is killing women for their children.
Written and Directed by Peter A. Dowling
Starring Radha Mitchell, Rupert Graves, Joanne Crawford,
Ian McElhinney, David Robb, Conor Mullen, Liam Carney
Based on the novel by Sharon Bolton
Sacrifice is not a horror film and should not be viewed as such. It is, however, a highly engaging crime drama with a fascinating premise that never fails to intrigue. Pagan cults and ritualistic sacrifice has always frightened me far more than ghosts and demonic forces. The belief of man is infinitely more terrifying than any fictional monster, mostly because things like this actually happen. Sacrifice draws a great deal of influence from The Wicker Man, a classic horror film with a similar premise, though it doesn't quite reach the same lengths in terms of iconic imagery or charismatic bad guy. Still, for Netflix's back catalog, I was surprised.
Dr. Tora Hamilton (Radha Mitchell) cannot conceive a child, so she and her husband Duncan (Rupert Graves) relocate to Duncan's ancestral home in the Shetland Islands to adopt. After Tora finds the bones of a murder victim in her backyard, she digs deeper and uncovers a massive conspiracy happening all around her. As the threads begin to unravel, the film only gets more interesting, though it never takes the plunge into horror territory. I did enjoy the film, but I think if it had gone even further, Sacrifice could've been unforgettable.
For what I expected, Sacrifice was a happy surprise that kept me guessing to the end. I was disappointed by its lack of scares, as well as a weak ending, but overall it's compelling enough to keep your interest. The performances are decent, and it made me want to read the novel it was based on. I think I'd call that a win, don't you?