A group of students travel to a remote and sacred Native American patch of land, in order to complete a thesis on Native American Folklore. This distant swamp area was used hundreds of years ago to judge and to punish murderous criminals. The land itself has magical powers, making it possible for the dead to come back and punish the guilty. Sins can come back and kill you.
Indian folklore, restless spirits, and a naive bunch of archeology students always make for a good mix of frights. In the film “The Sacred”, a group decides to head out to a remote location containing a Native American site that’s been around for centuries.
The group which is intent on gathering info and excavating at the campsite over the course of a day, stops by a local bar to get directions. The bar owner upon hearing of where they want to be taken refuses any involvement knowing that the spot was a former murder site to a similar group who were massacred without explanation. The locals know the place too well, though its largely a forbidden and a cursed spot for evil spirits and deeds. Though one old soul steps up at the notion of making a few bucks. As this gigantic harrowing man tells the group, he can only drop them off at the river bank. They’ll have to leave before sunset and return to the boat.
It’s funny as this kind of omen warning seems to be pretty common in horror films. In fact the lead up and execution is remarkably the same as about 15 other films I’ve watched in 2011. The real story begins when the group is exposed to the evils of the land and what transpires. I think in a real world situation one would have been exposed to so many fiction warnings that the mention of nasty spirits would be enough to deter anyone. The group is far from being deterred and simply heed any warnings indulging as they please.
“The Sacred” begins in the past as a ritual driven punishment is imposed on a tribal violator. What lurks n the woods sends instant fear into our captive who is approached by zombie looking demons. As we are told, the land punishes criminals and looks into their hearts for purity or corruption. Those who are corrupt suffer at the hands of dead.
“The Sacred” roots itself in a “Friday the 13th” setup with a supernatural follow up. Our characters meet the stereotypes of young adult driven films catering to a “Scream” audience. Highlight for me were the more weirder displayed segments than the slasher fare kill by numbers scenes. Even a hint of “Evil Dead” seems to be influence this production which grounds itself in a beat-up cabin with night full of angry spirit manifestations. We learn as the film moves along that demons from each of the groups past are still alive within them bringing inner conflicts into reality.
This new release which comes from the folks over at Osirus Entertainment. I will say that the product looks great. The camera shots, the setting, and the color tones really pop suggesting a more professional product than some of the other studio releases out there. Story wise, I didn’t find alot new, but found alot that meets the criteria of age bracket groups. The film strays away from being a zombie film but does involve the dead who walk and haunt. Direction by Jose Zambrano Cassella seems solid in the same way as you might expect from “Cabin Fever”, though it’s his cinematography that really shines capturing some slam dunk footage to leverage the more average storyline.
The Sacred (2009)