Written and directed by David Creed, Sacrilege follows a group of four young women (played by Tamarin Payne, Emily Wyatt, Sian Abrahams and Naomi Willow) as they escape from their trials and tribulations for a weekend away in a country house to relax and catch up on some quality ‘girl time’. A handsome stranger invites them to take part in some local festivities whilst partaking in the smoking of some ‘erb’.
The festival begins with the priest instructing everyone to write down their fears and cast them into the fire and then proceeds to offer thanks and give praise to a Goddess made of sticks and the head of a deer.
The party then gets going with the group of friends getting into the spirit of things with the locals enjoying drink and music and feeling like they have to take their clothes off to have a good time. Despite being warned by a local ‘anti-fairy godmother’(played by Emma Spurgin Hussey)to leave before the ceremony ends, they ignore the warnings and party on into the night.
They begin to have visions of their fears and put it down to the pot they’d consumed. Things start to escalate quickly and one by one the girls encounter more and more disturbing events resulting in some unhappy endings.
This film has all the same ingredients as many other decent horror films; a house in the middle of nowhere – cut off from civilisation, pagan rituals, a group of incredibly good looking women (that inevitably spend the majority of the film not wearing much), scary locals, dark foreboding woods, a bit of gore, the odd attempt to make the viewer jump, love scenes and a wicker man… I mean a pagan goddess made of twigs and deer antlers. Unfortunately, however, in this instance the ingredients don’t produce any satisfying.
The performances are okay, but there’s not really enough material or depth of story to give the main actors a chance other than to play the one-dimensional characters the script has dictated them to be.
This is a low budget film and the special effects are adequate but obviously limited, but even if more money had been found to spend of the effects, I don’t personally think it would have helped change the end result.
Unfortunately, there is nothing new with Sacrilege, what it does has been done better so many times before. It does not scare, there’s no real sense of suspense or impending doom, the death sequences aren’t particularly gory and as a viewer I didn’t have enough attachment to any of the characters to care if, or how they met their demise. I was hoping it would somehow turn into a spoof horror film, as it would have probably had more chance of succeeding on its budget. But then again big budget comedies, just like horror films do not succeed as good films due to the budget but as a result from of a good story and the script to deliver it.
On a positive note, there is some good camera work and visuals of the scenery. The soundtrack is fine, and the background score fits the bill for a better film.
Verdict: 3/10 – I think this film is a shame. With a bit more time spent and perhaps some additional input into the script Sacrilege could have been a decent British horror film, but unfortunately it does not find the footprints of all the horror films it tries to follow and gets lost along the way.