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Sacrilege review

By David Dent

Keen to escape the city, and her violent ex-boyfriend just released from prison, Kayla (Tamaryn Payne), her sister Stacey (Naomi Willow), Kayla’s ex Tricia (Emily Wyatt) and bar owning friend Blake (Sian Abrahams) decide to spend a weekend in the country. As befits city girls out of their element there’s the usual whining about lack of wi-fi and pisstaking of the local handyman (Rory Wilton). On the way to the cottage they also pick up local guy Vinnie (Jon Glasgow) who tells them that the annual solstice festival is due to take place in the village.

The girls re-connect over a stash of weed found in an outhouse and a lot of booze. Vinnie turns up and takes them to the festival, which is a bit of a low rent event, involving some villagers with twigs in their hair and daubed faces praying to a budget wicker man figure (in this case a mythical goddess). The leader of the event, Father Saxon, (Ian Champion), assisted by Miss March (Emma Spurgin Hussey), asks the girls to write down the things that they most fear – responses include dogs, bugs and, in self-absorbed Stacey’s case, getting old – before they lose themselves in wild dancing and strong liquor. Miss Marsh warns two of them to get out while they can.

The morning after – and following Blake’s late night swim where she’s bothered by a dog that seems to vanish instantly – the girls blame their collective wooziness on the previous evening’s partying, but when Stacey has visions of herself as an old woman, and Tricia imagines herself covered in bugs, it looks like their worst fears have become real; the women have been marked by the goddess, and it’s only a matter of time before they meet their ends.

“Who’s ready for a weekend they’ll never forget?” asks Blake, as the girls set off in her yellow van, nicknamed ‘Sunny D,’ for their doomed getaway. Blake has a flare gun in the glove compartment, which you know will come in useful later; it’s that kind of movie. It’s atmospherically shot in and around the Forest of Dean, with some well mounted sequences of horror, but despite its rather racy storyline – a group of girls on a hedonistic weekend, with two of the cast sexually reuniting after a period apart – it’s a surprisingly chaste film. But at least the girls who want to have fun don’t need blokes to do it, or ultimately to save themselves.

Sacrilege will be available on digital download from 27th September and can be pre-ordered on iTunes

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