Sacrilege (2020) Movie Review

Sacrilege – The Cult Lacks Personality

 

Director: David Creed

Writer: David Creed (Screenplay)

Starring: Tamaryn Payne, Emil Wyatt, Sian Abrahams, Naomi Willow, Ian Champion, Rory Wilton

Plot: Four lifelong friends head to a remote lodge for a weekend of fun. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly descends into a fight for their lives when a local Pagan cult offer them up to their Goddess as a sacrifice for the Solstice.


Tagline – Face your fear

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Sacrilege starts when four friends Kayla (Payne), Trish (Wyatt), Blake (Abrahams) and Stacey (Willow) look to go on a remote girls weekend to put aside the problems they have had in the past to have a fun time putting the bad memories behind them.

The girls get invited to a Pagan ritual for a party unlike anything they have had before, one which sees them have a great time, but returning to the home, they all start suffering horrendous nightmares, as the cult has plans for them.

Thoughts on Sacrilege

Characters & Performances – Kayla is the member of the friends that has been through a traumatic event along with a bad break up, she needs that chance to relax and unwind, which this weekend away could offer, being the one pushing the rest into going. Trish is the ex of Kayla, the one that caused the pain, the one that wants to make up for her mistake and remain friends even if she must win over the friends again. Blake is the bar owner who is always up for a good time, she always has the biggest stories to tell from the girls past. Stacey is the social media addict that is obsessed with her own image and taking selfies. Between the four actresses, we get genuine chemistry as they have the party side of life together, but alone, the characters aren’t written as smartly as the friendship is. When it comes to the cult members, we don’t get a chance to see them much, which is disappointment as we could have seen more about what they want.

StoryThe story here follows four friends as they look to have a weekend getaway for some fun, only to find themselves coming into contact with the local Pagan cult, which will see them suffering from their own nightmares. When it comes to the Pagan ritual style movies, it does feel like we need to see more about the cult and what they are after, but instead we focus just on girls and what they are going through, which could have more horrific moments, with better reactions, especially once they learn what might be happening. Most of this film does feel like we could have had another act, as we need to see more into the horrors of what is happening, even though the grounded figures created early on, seem to make illogical mistakes.

ThemesSacrilege is a horror thriller that takes us into the world of Pagan Rituals, seeing the four women facing their fears, which all comes off basic, never hitting the heights you would expect from the horror occasions we could go through. The remote house is the isolated location that is needed for the women to be away from the world, a place where the ritual could take place too.

Final Thoughts Sacrilege is a horror that offers plenty, but fails to deliver on the highest levels of horror.

ABC Film Challenge – 1990s Movies – M – Mercury Rising (1998) Movie Review

Director: Harold Becker

Writer: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal (Screenplay) Ryne Douglas Pearson (Novel)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Miko Hughes, Alec Baldwin, Chi McBride, Kim Dickens, Robert Stanton

Plot: Shadowy elements in the NSA target a nine-year old autistic savant for death when he is able to decipher a top secret code.


Tagline – Someone knows too much.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Mercury Rising starts as disgraced FBI agent Art Jeffries (Willis) finds himself drawn into a case of what is thought to be a missing child Simon Lynch (Hughes) an autistic 9-year-old who solved an unbreakable government code.

Nick Kudrow (Baldwin) wants this covered up, sending assassins to clean up any loose ends to make sure this secret code is safe, while Art isn’t going to let another child die under his watch.

Thoughts on Mercury Rising

ThoughtsMercury Rising is an action thriller that will see a FBI agent doing everything in his power to protect an autistic young boy who has become a target of the NSA. The first thing that will need to be addressed is the way the autistic boy is addressed, being dismissed by most of the film, with language that would never be used or accepted today. Outside of this flaw in the film, we do get a great story that will give us an FBI agent that will do anything to make sure he does the right thing even if everyone else is trying to hunt him down, it will follow a traditional style of storytelling that we have seen many times before, with some people willing to help, while others look to get in the way. Bruce Willis is still in his good form as the agent doing the right thing, while Alec Baldwin will always make fore a strong political villain. The action is routine, with lots of shooting going on around which is held back on more than you would have imagined due to the struggles of Simon around the noises. This is one of the more underrated thrillers of the late 90s one that is entertaining throughout.

Final Thoughts Mercury Rising is an intense entertaining thriller.

The Ballad of Billy McCrae (2021) Movie Review ‘Gritty Thriller’

The Ballad of Billy McCrae – Gritty Drama

 

Director: Chris Crow

Writer: Philip Palmer (Screenplay)

Starring: David Hayman, Ross O’Hennessy, Ian Virgo, Sianad Gregory, Christpoher Patrick Nolan, Gerald Tyler

Plot: Chris Blythe returns to his home town in Wales after losing a fortune in Canada. He falls in love with Elen, a volatile and charismatic woman. But Elen’s father Billy is a dangerous man and Chris finds himself torn between love and hate…

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Ballad of Billy McCrae starts when Chris (Virgo) returns to his hometown in Wales, getting a job at the local quarry working for the ruthless Billy McCrae (Hayman). Chris is warned to stay away from Billy’s daughter Elen (Gregory), a warning he doesn’t listen to, but unlike most men she starts seeing, Billy seems to embrace Chris.

As Chris starts to find himself getting closer to Billy, he starts to see the darker side behind his character, while Elen looks to escape the hold Billy has over her, will this all hit the boil point before things get out of hand.

Thoughts on The Ballad of Billy McCrae

Characters & Performances – Billy McCrae is a man that has struck fear into the town he has operated in for years, people who cross him usually end up in a bad place or beg him for forgiveness. He surprises most of people by taking Chris under his wing after he starts dating his daughter, but his true colours are always waiting to come to the surface. David Hayman does bring us a character that will strike fear into people, with each scene, even the ones where he might come off friendly. Chris is the man returning to his hometown after losing his fortune, he doesn’t follow the warnings about getting involved with Elen and ends up finding himself helping Billy improve his business model, until he wants to move away from the area. His past will get used to help both Billy and Elen as they look to move forward in life, caught in the middle of the battle between them. Ian Virgo does a great job here, bringing the confidence needed for the character, while hold the smarts back. Elen is the daughter of Billy, she has been trapped in the town, always being scared of what might happen if she tries to leave again, having her life monitored by him in every day life. Sianad Gregory does bring this character to life, with plenty of mystery about what is true about her life.

StoryThe story here follows a man returning to his hometown to try and get back on his feet after losing his fortune, only to find himself getting caught up working for a ruthless businessman and trying to balance dating his daughter too, only to see the things come crashing down around him. This is a crime thriller story that will get us seeing the world through the eyes of Chris, showing us how each interaction will create his ideas of characters, rather than letting him see the whole world he has entered. This is a story that will give us plenty of twists along the way, while giving us a fizzling story line going on around us.

ThemesThe Ballad of Billy McCrae is a thriller set in a small Welsh town that will be used to show how one person can have control over everyone in that town. This is a thriller that will keep us guessing as to what will happen with the relationship between Billy and Chris.

The Ballad of Billy McRae will be in UK Cinemas from 24th September 

Final Thoughts The Ballad of Billy McCrae is a tense thriller that keeps us on edge through the whole film.