Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sacrifice Movie Review – Like a Lifetime Flick

Runtime: 91 minutes
Release Date: April 29, 2016
Rating: NR?
Director: Peter A. Dowling

Tora is an obstetrician, which makes it sad that she cannot have a child of her own. Though she and her husband, Duncan, tried multiple times in the past, it always ended in a miscarriage. In the hopes of escaping their old life, they move to a remote island off the coast of Scotland to start over again. Duncan hopes that a change of scenery will make her finally give up on her dreams of having a child.

While walking around the island and checking out the land near their home, Tora literally stumbles across a dead body. The woman, who gave birth not long before her death, has a massive wound in her chest and runes carved all over her skin. She learns that the woman's DNA matches that of a local woman who died of cancer and was cremated, which doesn't make sense. The locals urge her to drop it and just walk away, but Tora wants to learn more.

After doing some research, she discovers that there was a cult that once existed on the island. Members sacrificed the mothers who gave birth to enhance their ranks. When she attempts to talk with others about what she uncovered, they tell her that it's just an urban legend. Tora eventually discovers that there is more to the legend and that people she knows and cares about may have a connection to the mystery.

The trailer for Sacrifice made it look like a fantastic thriller. The first time I saw it, I even restarted it and made my boyfriend watch it because it looked so good. That trailer made it seem like this was a film about a woman who uncovers some deep mystery and keeps finding dead bodies all over an island until she learns the truth. It almost looked like a modern version of Jessica Fletcher on vacation or something. The actual film paled in comparison to the trailer.

Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill) does what she can with the role as Tora, but she doesn't have a whole lot to work with. We don't learn what motivates her, why she would agree to move to the middle of nowhere, or why the hell she continues to work with pregnant woman despite saying multiple times that she feels devastated by the fact that she can't have a child of her own. It also takes way too long before they even discuss the topic of adoption.

By the time she discovers what connection her husband has to the mystery of the island, you expect her to feel angry and infuriated, but she really doesn't react much. While she's clearly angry and upset, she comes across as cool and uncaring. I'm not sure if that's the way the character was written or just her acting. Most of the other actors demonstrated the same traits.

The problem with Sacrifice is that it plays like a Lifetime movie. Most of the actors just sleepwalk through the film, and it doesn't have the twists that you might expect. The story is way too linear and puts things together in a way that lets you work out the story well before the end. If I wanted to watch a Lifetime film, I'd watch a Lifetime film and not Sacrifice.

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