Movie Review – Sacrifice

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It’s been a long time since Duncan (Rupert Graves) had been to his hometown in the remote Shetland Islands. His job brought him back to the sleepy subarctic archipelago North of Scotland; and seems like the perfect setting for Duncan and his wife Tora (Radha Mitchell) to start a family. While doing a little yard work (with a backhoe), Tora makes a grisly discovery. A woman was buried under her property. Making matters worse is the body’s missing heart, which had been removed and her back, which is covered in weird markings. Coincidentally, the markings are old runes , also seen in Tora’s basement as well. After being told to not “dig” any further into the story, Tora is unsatisfied with the official investigation and conducts her own. Unsurprisingly, Tora unearths more than rumours, thought to be old wives’ tales. 

Being the only outsider on an island, a thousand miles from home, Radha Mitchell brings a necessary, measured nervousness throughout the film. She feels as much as we know that there’s something wrong with this picture. Mitchell certainly saves the film from being the predictable slop you’ve seen before. All of the makings of a Sy-Fy Channel/Lifetime Network mega movie collaboration are here. A newcomer to a secluded land, against the wishes of the locals uncovers, then exposes a well-kept, yet well-known secret in this small town.

Though Mitchell carries the film, she is let down by a poorly conceived script. I’m not one to solve movie murder mysteries quickly, but the film all but screams the ending in the first act. Just when the story becomes slightly unclear, the film holds your hand, piecing the puzzle together in a most unsatisfying way. Aside from a few harrowing car chases and picturesque shots of Shetland, Sacrifice is a disappointing adaptation of Sharon ‘S.J.’ Bolton’s 2008 début novel.

Verdict: C-

Not Rated @ 91  Mins

Note: Exclusive theatrical engagement at the IFC Center (323 Sixth Avenue at West Third Street, New York, NY (212) 924-7771) Also On-Demand nationwide

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