Thursday, April 28, 2016

Another "mothering" lesson in Peter A. Dowling's Irish horror thriller, SACRIFICE

Just yesterday we got an oddball lesson in mothering via Bulgaria, and here again today, we have another one from Ireland in the new horror thriller, SACRIFICE. Yesterday's tutorial came by and for women, but today's arrives via the guys, god bless 'em, and a more nasty, crazy, blood-thirsty and uber-patriarchal bunch of sleazebags, you're unlikely to find. This is thanks to director and adapter (of the novel by S.J. Bolton) Peter A. Dowling, shown below, who has done a pretty credible job of bringing this especially grizzly tale to the screen.

Most of the violence is kept off-screen, actually, but via a discovered corpse or two (and more to come) we fairly quickly learn the specifics of what happened (they're pretty ugly), if not quite why. Uncovering the latter is up to the film's star, Australia's always-willing-and-able Radha Mitchell, who plays a doctor who desperately wants to have a baby with hubby (Rupert Graves). But this is not to be, it seems; instead the pair travels to Ireland and a little island where hubby's wealthy family has quite a nice set-up going.

Ms Mitchell (above and below) is front and center throughout the film, and she handles her duties with her usual skill. From the film's particularly impressive opening scene in the hospital where she works as a gynecologist and has a very unusual session with a pregnant patient, the star proceeds to the island on which she very quickly determines that something is terribly wrong and begins investigating.

As usual in films like this, the townspeople, including the authorities, are not helpful, and so our heroine (Tora is her name) must tackle everything from the detective work to operating heavy machinery (below).  Just who -- if anyone -- is among the good guys is up for grabs here, which adds to the suspense and danger, all of which gets sorted out within the appropriate 90-minute running time.

A few red herrings turn up, the ensemble cast does everything required, and the movie overall plays out as swift, scary and (somewhat ghastly) fun. TrustMovies is making no claims to greatness here, but as horror thrillers go, Sacrifice is perfectly presentable, though it's something one might be inclined to view at home rather than making a pricier, more time-consuming trek to the cinema.

Which is all to the good, since the movie, from IFC Midnight, opens simultaneously on VOD and all digital platforms, as well as in a theater or two. In New York City, you can find it at the IFC Center (at a single late-night screening only) beginning tomorrow, April 29. The following Friday, May 6, it opens in Los Angeles at the Arena Cinema in Hollywood.  

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