SACRIFICE is the kind of film you watch and have to sit with and chew slowly and digest in order to form a strong opinion. And so, I did this. It took me some time to be able to sit and write about my thoughts on the film and honestly, I’m not so sure I’m even ready now, a full day after viewing. I just have so many questions!
Upon learning of the death of his mother, Isaac (Ludovic Hughes) discovers that he has inherited a house on the Norwegian island where he was born. He knows only that his mother fled the island with him in tow when he was very young and basically nothing else, so this house is a total surprise to him. He and his very pregnant wife, Emma, (Sophie Stevens) decide to visit the island to sell the house as quickly as possible so they can get back to the US before Emma gives birth. When they arrive on the island, however, they discover secrets of Isaac’s past including details about the death of his father and his mother’s alleged involvement. Isaac becomes distant as he learns of the rituals and beliefs of his ancestors, while Emma, who is nearing her due date, becomes anxious and riddled with nightmares.
I really can’t say more on the plot because it is unfortunately riddled with holes. The title of the film clearly illustrates that a sacrifice will be taking place and it was pretty clear to me from the very beginning who would be involved. The why? Not so clear. Even after the conclusion. So much in this film is never explained. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not mind things being left to the viewer’s imagination. I actually love that when it is executed well. It just wasn’t done very well in SACRIFICE.
The acting in this film was excellent and very believable. Barbara Crampton absolutely lights up the screen as Renate in every scene she is in; though I don’t think she was utilized enough in this film. The pace of the film was on point as it absolutely held my interest all the way through, and the setting and scenic shots were gorgeous. I just really wish a better job was done with the plot.
SACRIFICE is worth the watch. It is a relatively short film, at only 87 minutes and I’d be very interested to hear your take on it in the comments below.
SACRIFICE opens in select theaters on February 5th and will be available On Demand on February 9th. The film will then arrive on Blu-ray on February 23, 2021.