Reviewbr> “I have nothing to give you for this” - Backpacker
A man is polishing a skull of all things while contemplating his next target, while at the same time a woman is enjoying a glass of wine at the local theatre. Unknowingly a French backpacker, who has also been attending the theatre, leaves her passport and travel documents at her table. The woman notes the passport and rushes to the train station hoping to catch the backpacker before she boards her train to the airport.
The Vampire attacks the backpacker in a wonderfully empty train station, it's late at night okay, but is thwarted from draining the victim when a third person makes the scene, unfortunately slightly too late to save the backpacker. Notably our mystery third person has indepth knowledge on all things vampire. In an epic struggle a surprise twist in the plot will leave you wondering what the movie is really about. Lets sink our teeth into an excellent short.
Surprisingly Sacrifice reminded me of classic Hammer vampire movies, the styling, given a make over and presented in a modern package. While there's nothing as standard as say Christopher Lee showing his fangs and snarling, I was still left with that European feel to things, that certain polish that tends to make Euro horror movies stand out from the pack. But whereas Hammer kept pretty much to the written vampire lore, with a fair dollop of heaving breasts, Robert Jukic follows more the 30 Days of Night (2007) path, oh yes there will be blood. In the wash up we're talking a short that will appease the traditional horror viewer, in no way does Jukic's Vampire sparkle or come out in the daylight, while appealing to more modern consumers who want their vamps as far more predatory than suave and somehow alluring. Nice balancing act, and a mix that works like a mad scientist resurrecting a corpse.
Plot wise Robert Jukic is apt to confuse more than a few viewers while scoring heavily on the horror writing 101 requirements. The implications toward the end of the movie aren't readily discernible though they make perfect sense in the context of Sacrifice's universe. Sorry just pointing out, and can't elaborate due to the ever present danger of spoilers. If in doubt after seeing the movie write on in for further clarification. On the bright side of the fang Jukic has hit one of horror's real requirements, the movie is set in a timeline, with events pre and post movie referenced. We are not talking a static point in time, Sacrifice is a window on one event in a character's ongoing struggles. Life isn't a static point in time folks, an event unfolds due to prior happenings, and the event will affect future decisions, Robert Jukic's all over that crucial plot structure.
Behind the camera Robert Jukic is going to win quite a number of accolades. Besides having his pacing exactly right, there's no lag coming at you, Jukic hits a number of highlights to keep the viewer happy with life. All about blood dripping, a Gothic feel to the scenes inside the train station, and an overall nailing of the opening and closing scenes that are crucial to understanding the short. The visuals presented in Sacrifice are lush without being over the top unreal, you'll be humming along to what you see on screen.
What will impressed even the most jaded viewer are the special effects and props in use. There's some nifty vampire effects to groove to, all about speed, and none of the props appear to be of the paper mache variety. Some coin has gone into making sure the movie is as professional as possible and it shows in a highly polished finished product. Once again I can't go into some of the cooler aspects due to spoilers, but I was jiving to The Thing (1982) style title graphic referencing the eyes of one character toward the end of the movie. See it's the little things that impress the hell out of me.
In one of those shock developments that keep you wondering about higher purposes, the last short we reviewed, ( href='http://www.scaryminds.com/reviews/2011/short20.php'>Cameron McCulloch's Home), also starred Jamie McDowell, who doesn't do her reputation any damage in Sacrifice. McDowell is quickly becoming a favourite around the ScaryMinds bunker, and she is outstandingly good here. Terry Camilleri was equally as strong in a fairly demanding role, spoilers again folks. And new comer Julia Markovski had me believing in her French backpacker, excellent accent. Director Robert Jukic gets the best out of his cast, who make Sacrifice a joy to watch.
Before I forget, as I vainly attempt sticking to the word limit, Dmitri Golovko's score is astounding good and captures the intense nature of Sacrifice's visuals. I would favourably compare Golovko's work here to Jerry Goldsmith's definitive score for The Omen (1976). Right from the opening heart beat style soundscape to the closing credits Robert Jukic is using the score and incidental noise to great effect.
After a number of viewings of Sacrifice I'm liking the movie more and more. The sheer intensity of the short hits all the right notes for me, and I can't wait to catch Director Robert Jukic's next project, which fingers crossed, promises to be a feature length expansion on the concepts portrayed in Sacrifice. Robert Jukic proves with this short that he is someone to keep an eye on, hence no issue with giving this movie a full recommendation. You really are going to want to catch Sacrifice to see what all the buzz is about.
If after more details then check out the official site right here. You can get a preview look at the movie, order via itunes or Amazon, or infact just check out the cool details. While the site is feature packed, be warned it's in flash if on a slow dial-up sped. Word of warning to film makers contemplating net sites for their projects, flash isn't search engine friendly, try some CSS and jscript trickery instead.
Proving advertising works, I first came across Sacrifice via an advert in Decay magazine, just pointing that out folks.