A group of students on a trip to ancient Native American land are about to get more than they bargained for when they cross into sacred land in The Sacred (2009). Several anthropology students and their friends are doing a thesis paper on the site where another class of students had been killed years earlier. When they fail to heed the warning of the local Native Americans about visiting the land they soon come under mental and psychological attack where their sins from the past come back to haunt and try to kill them one by one.
This actually has a pretty decent premise. The story is by Sharon Reed who also shares screenplay credit with director Jose Zambrano Cassella. It does a great job setting everything up and introducing all the characters but falls apart for two reasons – 1) you never once believe any of these characters are anthropology students nor believe they would just nonchalantly go to a location where the last students all died under mysterious circumstances and 2) the film crumples under your standard “stalk ‘n slash” scenario during the third act.
This being said the production values are very high and the makeup FX are really good and it is in fact entertaining in that basic horror film way so at least it’s not a complete wash. It’s an inspired choice to use Native American mythology as it is not used as often as it should be. There are a lot of great stories out there than can still be told as they have a rich culture of legends and myths whose surface is barely scratched here.