- Director Jenn Wexler’s The Sacrifice Game features a group of “Christmas Killers” terrorizing a boarding school during the holidays.
- Actor Mena Massoud trades in his Aladdin persona for the disturbing Last House on the Left-like villain in the film.
- The Sacrifice Game currently holds a perfect score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, promising a thrilling cinematic experience.
“This Christmas, raise a little hell.” Halloween may have come and gone, but there’s plenty of horror still left to go around this holiday season. The latest cinematic venture from director Jenn Wexler finds actors Mena Massoud and Olivia Scott Welch amid a group of everyday monsters terrorizing their unsuspecting victims at a boarding school during Christmastime. Check out the official trailer for The Sacrifice Game below:
The synopsis for The Sacrifice Game reads as follows:
“The Blackvale School for Girls, 1971. It’s bad enough that students Samantha (Madison Baines) and Clara (Georgia Acken) can’t go home for the holidays, but things take a deadly turn when a gang of cult killers arrives at their doorstep — just in time for Christmas.”
The Sacrifice Games stars Massoud (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) as arguably the most disturbing of the killers featured in the film’s official trailer. Massoud has traded in his magic carpet-riding good guy vibes as the lead in Disney’s live-action Aladdin (2019) for the Krug Stillo-esque villain who believes sacrifice is the only way to get God’s attention. Wexler said of her film’s baddie being portrayed by Massoud in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:
We think of him as this sweet charming guy, this Disney hero. I thought it would be so fun to play with those expectations, and to twist them, and to make him really evil. Mena was so excited to go on that journey.
The Sacrifice Game Drops in December
The Sacrifice Game was an official selection for Fantasia, Fantastic Fest and the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. The horror movie is directed by Jenn Wexler, and the filmmaker is certainly not a newcomer to the genre. Wexler serves not only as the director, but she also helped produce the project and co-wrote the script with Sean Redlitz. Wexler’s “about the director” credentials reads as follows in a press release promoting The Sacrifice Game:
“Jenn Wexler is a writer and director, whose directorial debut, The Ranger, world premiered at the SXSW [South by Southwest] Film Festival, had its Canadian premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival, was released by AMC Networks’ Shudder, and screened at the Museum of Modern Art. In television, she’s directed for The CW’s Pandora and TruTV’s Late Night Snack.
Wexler has also produced acclaimed and award-winning genre films including Depraved, Darling, Like Me, and Most Beautiful Island, which was nominated for the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award and won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at SXSW.”
The up-and-coming actress Olivia Scott Welch (Agent Carter, Modern Family, Panic) joins the aforementioned Mena Massoud as one of the film’s villains. And the cast is rounded out by former winter Olympian Gus Kenworthy (American Horror Story, 80 for Brady), relative newcomer Madison Baines, Derek Johns, Laurent Pitre, Chloë Levine and Georgia Acken.
At the time of this writing, Wexler’s The Sacrifice Game boasts a perfect score of 100% on the Tomatometer. It’s early, and there are only 12 reviews currently posted on Rotten Tomatoes, but critics from the horror websites Dread Central, Rue Morgue Magazine, Bloody Disgusting and Nightmarish Conjurings all praised the movie. Wexler found inspiration for The Sacrifice Game during her days working for Larry Fessenden’s Glass Eye Pix 10 years ago. Wexler said in the same interview with EW:
“I was really inspired by Larry, really inspired by the movies they were making. I was doing marketing and social media for Glass Eye but I was like, ‘Oh, if I ever got the opportunity to make a movie what would be my dream movie?’ I wanted it to take place at a boarding school, because I grew up in suburban New Jersey, and I went to public high school, and the boarding school aesthetic always seemed romantic and mysterious to me. I thought it would be really fun to clash that setting with these Mansonesque cult killers because I read Helter Skelter as a teenager.”
The Sacrifice Game drops Friday, December 8 on Shudder. And fans can check out the full-length poster for Wexler’s upcoming horror flick below: