Ricardo Islas (Zombie Farm, Night Fangs)
Starring – Giuliana Islas (Lockout), Jennifer Lenius (Dismembering Christmas), and Victoria Flees
Release Date – 2015
Rating – 3/5
There has been a a huge push for religious horror as of recent with films popping up here and there featuring the devil, demons, angels, and the like. I will check these films out but most of the time they are unoriginal and boring as hell. Very few films think outside the box or at least try to put a new spin on an old story when it comes to these films that prey on people’s faith and not fear.
Recently, I saw posts for the horror film The Sacrifice pop up here and there in different horror groups on Facebook. The picture (above) really intrigued me so I check the film’s Facebook page out and was surprised to see it was a religious film or sorts that actually incorporated demons of Indian (India not Native American) folklore into it. I reached out to director Ricardo Islas and he was kind enough to shoot a link to the online screener my way. Thanks Ricardo.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a dedicated family man and police officer. He is suspended from his job after a video of him defending himself lands in the hand of the media who twist it into something far worse. At this time her has his nephews from India staying with them due to their father falling on hard times after his wife passed when she was pregnant with their youngest child. The two children are a bit strange. At first they pretend they can’t speak English and when someone new enters the room they toss grains/seeds at their feet. After their arrival they soon learn that their father was murdered after he put them on the plan. Soon their world is shaken when a strange man attacks one of the children prompting the F.B.I.’s involvement where they learn that the man was part of a cult that sacrifices women and the boy’s father was also a member.
The boys finally tells everyone that they are running from a demon that is hellbent on killing every man in her family and the grains are a diversionary tactic they use to escape. The creature has to stop and count every grain before continuing in the same line as the leprechaun in Leprechaun has to shine shoes. It is now up to their uncle and aunt, along with the police force to stop this creature from killing them.**Spoiler Alert**
I hate when a religious horror film involving a cult, demon, or devil takes itself too seriously. They focus way too much on the faith portion of the film resulting in a boring film experience with jump scares added in to make it slightly interesting. The Sacrifice took the religious cult angle but made it just a small portion of the story and delivered a more character based story that has some chills.
The acting in this one is hit or miss. Some of the scenes the entire cast is on point delivering some spectacular acting. Then the film switches it up and the cast is interacting with each other in an awkward way that makes it a little uncomfortable to watch. The acting is not consistent and that does effect the way the story unfolds.
The story for this one has its ups and downs. The story is fun and the Indian cult angle was very fun especially considering all the other religious horror films that focus on Christianity. This was a great and unique demon introduced in this film but it was not nearly in the film enough especially if you consider the length of this film which clocks in just a little under 2 hours. The film has a lot, and I mean a lot, of dry spots with at least 30 minutes of the film that could be cut and still leaving the story relevant. The film’s running time does not work in the film’s favor.
Finally, the film has several amazing on screen kills that are gory as fuck and fun as hell to watch. We get some disembowelment, and several other bloody kills in full detail. These kills will satisfy the most die-hard gorehounds. The practical effects for these kills are great as well with a very small margin for improvement. Overall, The Sacrifice is a gory love letter to horror films of yesteryear. The film runs a little too long but it is well worth the time.