Lovecraft-inspired Cult Horror ‘Sacrifice’ is a Slow Burn that Fails in its Execution

Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer

Plot: After his mother’s death, Isaac and his pregnant wife return to his birthplace on a remote Norwegian island to claim an unexpected inheritance. During their visit, the couple discover dark secrets from Isaac’s past. And their pleasant trip quickly turns into a nightmare when the couple encounter a sinister cult that worships an HP Lovecraft-inspired sea-dwelling deity.

Review: Midsommar, Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining and Dagon. All memorable films in their own right (although Dagon is the only one in the bunch mainstream viewers may not be familiar with) and all of them came to mind while watching Sacrifice. Directors Andy Collier and Toor Mian are definitely familiar with all of the above, as the atmosphere and story of their movie has nods to these types of films. But unlike those films Sacrifice holds itself back when it should just jump headfirst into its surreal nature and environment.

WOMAN: Look at that non-robe wearing infidel MAN: Yeah. His head must be cold all the time

So here’s what I liked. There’s a slow burn here that fits well with the “alien” location of a Norwegian town placed firmly in the isolated countryside. The people feel like they belong to a different era, and I could imagine (and feel) the fear that comes along with travelling to a place you’re not familiar with.

Barbara Crampton, who plays cult member Renate, is a horror icon who you just don’t hear enough about. She’s been in and out of the genre since the 80s, with memorable roles in films such as Re-Animator (which is loosely based on HP Lovecraft’s classic horror tale Herbert West-Reanimator), Chopping Mall, From Beyond and, most recently, the terrifying We Are Still Here. While her Scandinavian accent in Sacrifice is more miss than hit, she’s the brightest light in this film and, might I add, the lady is aging like fine wine!

Gandalf? Yes…that was what they used to call me. Gandalf the Gray. That was my name. I am Gandalf the White Woman

Sadly, there just wasn’t enough here to truly call this one a must-see. The story wants to evoke HP Lovecraft, with its “slumbering god” that makes you think of Cthulhu (as well as Lovecraft’s Dagon) but they never really go anywhere with it. They break the immaculate rule of “show, don’t tell,” and when you’re dealing with a horror movie, unless you’ve got Kubrick-level skills, I suggest you show!

Feel free to skip this one folks. Sacrifice walks the walk, but unfortunately, with the exception of some bad accents here and there, it just doesn’t talk the horror movie talk.

Sommer’s Score: 4 out of 10

Want more Lovecraft? Well we’ve got more Lovecraft! You can check out my review of Sci Fi horror Underwater here. You can check out Editor Jules’s review of horror drama series Lovecraft Country here. And you can check out Dark Alice’s review of Color Out of Space here.

2755F829-2EEC-4A68-B6F7-F963F48C9D92 Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.

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  1. Hey I love the review. Check me out on YouTube at JAY VS. HORROR. I’d love to have you on my show sometime and pick your brain.

  2. Dagon is one of the best Lovecraft films I’ve ever seen, along with The Curse (“The Color Out of Space”), and guilty pleasure, The Dunwich Horror (1970).

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