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By Alex Saveliev | March 12, 2021

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a good horror movie about religious sects, and you’re aching for one, then avoid David Creed’s below-par contribution to the sub-genre, Sacrilege, at all costs. Its cardinal sin is a complete, total, utter, extreme lack of originality. The title does it justice, really. Sacrilege will most likely be viewed as such by horror film aficionados.

The prologue comes close to being effective, making the subsequent 80 minutes or so that much more difficult to bear. A man spontaneously combusts into flames and dies within inches of reaching a swimming pool. The special effects are impressive, and the intro functions as a premonition of savage things to come.

“…the ladies start to trip out…and then they all start to die.”

They never do. It’s all downhill from here. Meet our instantly forgettable, interchangeable protagonists: screechy Kayla (Tamaryn Payne), thirsty Stacey (Naomi Willow), “cheating bitch” Trish (Emily Wyatt), and, um, Blake (Sian Abrahams), who has no defining characteristics I can think of. (Aw, poor Blake? Or, wait, maybe lucky Blake?) A year after the fiery incident, the quartet engages in some symphonious scandals, then embarks on a retreat to an instantly-menacing, castle-like, middle-of-nowhere abode.

The girls pick up a hitchhiker on the way, who informs them of a local pagan festival that involves sacrifices and a goddess, and, of course, partying. He revisits them later, on his way to the festival – by this point, our heroines are drunk, high, and eager to let loose. “I promise, you’ll remember it for the rest of your lives,” he says, clearly not referring to Sacrilege.

If the girls had any sense, they’d leg it at the first glimpse of the decapitated deer skull, the satanic crosses, the silent crowd donning masks and, the nonsense-spouting pagan leader, Father Saxon (Ian Champion), who slices his hand and smears blood over his followers’ loving mugs. “We afford you our offerings so that you may remove our fears… Accept, with respect and duty,” he tells the deer skull.

Sacrilege (2021)

Directed and Written: David Creed

Starring: Tamaryn Payne, Emily Wyatt, Sian Abrahams, Naomi Willow, Emma Spurgin Hussey, etc.

Movie score: 3/10

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"…respect, then, must be given to Creed and the cast and crew for having the courage of their misguided convictions."

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