IMDb Rating 3.8 10 104

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Pairic 8 / 10

Good British Folk Horror

Sacrilege: Four old friends with a complicated relationship head off from Bristol for a weekend at a country lodge. The women ignore the warning signs: 1 a taciturn, creepy groundsman (Rory Wilton) with antlers on the front of jeep; 2 a cannabis grow house in a shed adjacent to their lodge (who would leave it unlocked?); 3 a hitchhiker (Jon Glasgow) invites them along to a Pagan Festival but an old woman (Emma Spurgin Hussey) warns them to leave "before the Ritual is completed". But these twenty somethings act like teens and stay. The Festival itself opens with solemn intonations from a priest (Ian Champion) who asks those present to write down their fears and cast them in a fire. He offers praise to the Goddess, a figure made from twigs and a deer skull with full antlers. But then the party starts and everyone dances and drinks. After wards the women have visions of what they fear most: Trish (Emily Wyatt) bugs; Kayla (Tamarin Payne) a crazed violent stalker; Stacey (Naomi Willow) growing old; Blake (Sian Abrahams) a savage dog. They put it down to the weed they smoked. Then things start to turn strange, the visions become even more disturbing, violent deaths occur.

A worthy addition to the British Folk Horror Canon this film shifts the focus to the South-West of England where seemingly friendly locals turn out to be more than just weekend Pagans. The deaths scenes are quite disturbing as character are spiked through the head and impaled on antlers but even in the opening scene a previous victim bursts into flames. The woods are threatening both at night and by day, looking quite primeval and exuding a sense of threat. But most frightening of all perhaps are the villagers and farmers gathered together wearing animal masks, accompanied by their Wicker Goddess. From the lack of ooo-arrs you know they're not there to drink cider. Some good acting from the four weekenders and Champion as the sinister priest. Writer/Director David Creed does a lot with with a low budget in his directorial debut. 7.5/10

Reviewed by ViggotheKarpathian 7 / 10

Decent British debut to the horror genre

Worth remembering that this is s debut film from an independent film maker so you are not going to get dazzling CGI effects you would associate with major studios but that said I thought for the most part the photography was handled well and there's a recurring motif of pine trees giving an icy, introverted feel much in a similar vein to the much longer and higher budget Midsommar. Credit is also due to the soundtrack which adds a significant part to the suspense and build up of tension in the film.

General tone is Hollyoaks meets Wickerman which may not be everyone's cup of tea but the lead character's backstory (a survivor of a vicious sexual assault) provides more than adequate material for you to feel invested in how her story progresses. It was also refreshing that the main protagonist was a queer woman who through the progress of the weekend gradually reestablishes a relationship with an old flame. There a number of unsettling moments and one of the character's fear of old age yields a genuinely spine tingling moment.

I don't say this of many films but I feel that this would have benefited from being a much longer film. The main problem I had with the film was that most of the characters seemed rather underwritten and I feel the horror would have been that much more effective if there was more time to work in character motivation. One glaring example is the older lady who despite being part of the cult seems to be kindly disposed to towards the protagonists and keen to help warn them and provide them with advice - why would she do this and wouldn't she be risking the cult's displeasure in doing so. There is no sense of why she is motivated to help or any sense of any risk or danger to her personally and it seems that she was only used as an over telegraphed plot device which was a sadly wasted opportunity. It was also quite easy to predict that the young make hitchhiker was up to no good but again he exists as a wafer thin plot device. The strength of the relationship between the two leads was key to their eventual survival but unfortunately you never really get a the full idea of how strong their bond was pre and post the re-kindling of their relationship, indeed it would have been interesting to explore female connection between the group as a whole and too see how that would have acted as a majikal force running as an antagonist to the dark spell that had been cast on them.

Had the film had more running time it could have explored these under utilised characters and added a a few more elements to add to the build up of suspense. As the film does not (thankfully) rely on cheap jump scares I feel that that is an important thing to note.

The ending was a little too abrupt for my liking . I think the message was a very worthy and moving one for any one who has survived trauma and abuse which is why I was disappointed that this final segment was far too short (and indeed building this lead story at early segments in the film would have rendered this far more powerful) Really we needed to have had a far greater feeling of her being in jeopardy her internal and external struggle which would have afforded a much greater sense of relief at her final get away.

There are a lot of genuinely good ideas and themes in this film and along with a fresh British cast and stunning photography makes this a worthy and decent debut in the horror genre.

Reviewed by clareyfaery 8 / 10

Interesting twist on a classic concept

As an avid horror fan I am always on the lookout for new horror. Having seen the trailer I was intrigued by the promise of an interesting twist on an old school idea, and having watched the film, it doesn't disappoint.

It's obvious that this film was made on a low budget, but don't let that put you off. It has great character development, some good jump scares, and awesome death scenes! A very enjoyable watch, the story is based on the classic idea of pagan cults and a holiday in the woods gone bad! The opening scene is particularly powerful, and sets you up to want to find out more.

I particularly love a film that has layers and depth, the sign of a good writer and not just a flat, one-dimensional story about death. Sacrilege certainly has this, and tackles ideas of female empowerment, domestic abuse, sexuality, trust and friendship. The underlying thread that runs throughout this film is finding strength by overcoming your fears, a perfect concept for a horror film.

Overall I would definitely recommend a watch, for a low budget horror it is both entertaining and enjoyable.

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