A decent picture with questionable motives
I went into Sacrilege knowing little to nothing about it. David Creed directs this horror thriller about four friends who decide to head to a lodge for a weekend of fun. There, they head to a festival that triggers their psychological traumas to come out. While it wasn’t what I expected, it was a lot more entertaining than I anticipated it to be.
David Creed both directed and wrote the film, and while I enjoyed it, it didn’t seem like anyone knew where this film was going. With loose plot structure, the film doesn’t translate well to screen. I questioned the characters’ traumas and did not fully understand or care where some of these traumas came from (for example, Blake’s fear of dogs - while she may have mentioned it once or twice I could care less when the dogs chase her). The film also has a side romance that just didn’t make sense to me. I know it’s a pretty common horror trope for there to be a sex scene, but I am confused about what exactly this added to the plot/story world? Maybe if they expanded or made their romance clear as glass in the first 15 minutes I would’ve been more accepting of it, but it felt like filler to increase the length of the picture.
David Creed wrote the film and I felt it didn’t have any solid direction plot wise. We never got to linger on the characters long enough to fully connect with them or care for them. Their psychological traumas weren’t fleshed out enough prior to the horrors coming forward, so I didn’t care about why Stacey was growing old or why Trish saw spiders all over her. I just think there’s a more clever way to prepare the audience for the traumatic reveals - especially considering the description of this film makes it seem like it will be about sacrificing them literally rather than in this oddly drawn out way. Also, the ending just did not do it for me. What was that? I’ve never seen a film take an out like that.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
The acting was pretty solid across the board from Emily Wyatt, Sian Abrahams, Tamaryn Payne, and Naomi Willow. Their characters did some questionable things (Trish especially, her final sequence with her trauma felt forced) but I think the actresses did a great job following an alright script. The first time Blake is scared by the dog, she is pushed into the pool after just exiting the pool, and begins to essentially drown. As silly as this sounds (considering she was just swimming in said pool), Sian Abrahams pulled it off and I fully believed she was drowning.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
The film opens with someone burning alive, and I thought, “Wow, this is going to be some great SFX and visuals!” Unfortunately, those visuals ended there. The rest of the film made it appear that they spent the majority of their SFX budget on the opening scene of the man burning. Some deaths and traumas that appear on-screen are so low budget and low quality that it’s almost laughable.
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
I think the sound design was pretty perfect for the film. It’s what kept me involved and warned me when their traumas were about to present themselves. Especially for the character of Kayla who was dealing with an immense amount of personal trauma as an ex seemingly beat her up and left her in a coma. When she had run-ins with him, the music always picked up in a way that made my heart beat.
Sacrilege is a decent picture with questionable motives and a questionable ending, but I had fun watching it. I love seeing psychological trauma on screen. I just wish the script was tighter on this one, and maybe their description should be changed as well considering their isn’t any typical sacrificing in this film; the title wildly skewed what my perception of this film would be.