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‘Sacrifice’ review: Barbara Crampton shines once again in Lovecraftian horror

Barbara Crampton and Lovecraft are a good combo.

Sacrifice initially gives off some heavy Midsommar vibes. A married couple (Issac and Emma) head to a remote Norwegian island to sell the ancestral home of Isaac’s (Ludovic Hughes) deceased mother. At first they are greeted with hospitality. Soon, they are drawn into a bizarre ritual that has pregnant Emma (Sophie Stevens) fearing for her safety.

The film deals in some familiar ideas. The most obvious is family. Sacrifice is one of those stories about a family’s dark history. In this case it is Isaac that changes from the level headed husband to something more. Sacrifice does not have much different to offer when it comes to this aspect of the story. There are the strange voices and odd dream sequences in Isaac’s head to show his change. As the plot progresses, he becomes more interested in the townsfolk and their customs.

This may be where the film will lose some. Things have a tendency to move at a slow pace. There are many long moments of exposition that never seem to have a payoff. Strangely, Sacrifice does not seem interested in fully explaining itself. At times, the movie seems more concerned with how it looks that what it is saying. This culminates in a visually impressive ending that will not satisfy everyone.

The imagery keeps the audience watching. Great use of light and shadow are found throughout Sacrifice. In particular, the pinks and dark purples pop off the screen. Barbara Crampton carries the acting side of Sacrifice. Playing a sheriff named Renate, the horror icon balances out the sometimes long winded script. Her accent is spot on and she anchors the film.

Sacrifice is another in a long line of horror movies inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. It has some great visuals and a stand out performance from Barbara Crampton. The folk horror aspect is always a nice change of pace and is a nice parallel to the other more standard horror elements that are presented. The story tends to lose its way, but it’s worth checking out.

Sacrifice is in theaters now and will be on demand February 9 and Blu-ray February 23.

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