Review: ‘A Sacrifice’

Eric Bana Tries To Save Sadie Sink From A Cult In Illogical Thriller

Let’s face it, we’re all social beings. Even the most introverted person at times still requires some form of human connection and a sense of community. That’s what makes us, well us with our need for connection to make sense in a world that often doesn’t make sense. However, there are times when gaining a sense of community is a very fine line with joining a cult. That’s what A Sacrifice clumsily attempts to tackle.

Ben Monroe (Eric Bana) recently separated from his wife and as a social psychologist, he opted to travel across the world to Berlin from his home in California to continue his work as he’s writing a book about ironically (but not really) loneliness. That all changes when his daughter Mazzy (Sadie Sink) arrives in Berlin for daddy/daughter time as well as spending a semester abroad. When Mazzy first arrives, she doesn’t have Ben’s undivided attention, as he’s being recruited by Nina (Sylvia Hoeks), a forensic psychologist who is trying to investigate a mass suicide of a cult. This is something that would be great for his book research, so he often leaves Mazzy to her own devices. Mazzy is also having trouble dealing with their parents’ splitting.

This leads Mazzy to meet Martin (Jonas Dassler) on the train and the two hit it off. However, Martin is dealing with his own isolation as his grandmother has passed away. Both Martin and Mazzy bond together in their loneliness. On top of that, Martin is being drawn to an environmental group (i.e. a cult) led by Hilma (Sophie Rois). It doesn’t take a rocket scientists to know that Hilma is the leader of the group that did the ritualistic suicide from the beginning of A Sacrifice.

Ben, somewhat blinded by his relationship with Nina (yes, they started quickly dating) realizes that Mazzy is missing. At first, it’s thought of as her just hanging with her friends, but soon enough, Ben realizes that Mazzy may be in trouble with this new group and it’s a race against the clock to save her daughter from doing her own ritualistic suicide from the clutches of the environmental cult.

A Sacrifice unfortunately doesn’t work. The characters don’t have much depth. Sadie Sink probably provides the most range as the troubled teen, but the rest of the cast acts mostly archetypes. We really don’t get to learn much about the cult, except a few surface-level speeches by Hilma. The third act of A Sacrifice tries to tie all the characters together for an eye-rolling twist that doesn’t make much sense, even though you see it a mile away. The film might have served better as a miniseries on a streaming service as that would have given the plot more time to breathe and let things organically happen instead of a rushed conclusion that was far more predictable than it could have been.

A Sacrifice is currently available in theaters.