Some days ago, I had the chance to see the film “Nothing Sacred” a movie that will be released soon on the US, and it tells the story of Blue and Delilah, a couple of twins that after just been reunited, start a trip around the world seeking revenge for the death of their mother against Chambers, a powerful dark wizard that seeks achieving immortality (and also father of the twins) thus fulfilling a prophecy told many years ago. Their mission won’t be easy since the only people with the clues to finish Chambers are his other descendants who would rather to stay away from the whole conflict some due for fear of retaliation and others due lack of interest, which leaves the twins fending for themselves against dark forces and twisted creatures in a race against time.
The plot itself for “Nothing Sacred” is very simple, but what made me like this film so much and what it makes it stand out from other independent films is the care of the details on the making, and how it managed to mix different cultures and traditions to bring a more complete enriched story to the table. In what I would call the spirit of the Robert Rodriguez film-making style that establish “Use in your films everything you have at hand”, “Nothing Sacred” takes a lot of elements that normally we wouldn’t think could be mixed like witchcraft, eerie puppets, martial arts, minotaurs, street hustlers and even native American rituals with a very remarkable result. Something I want to point out is that despite being an independent film, it does not feel so much as a low budget production, in part due good camera work, locations and a well-written lore that makes this film to look a lot bigger than the sum of its parts.
There were moments on the film that gave me the impression that the creators have some experience in theater, and that the lack of illumination on certain scenes was used (very effectively) to mask what could have been weak points on the costumes and a fight sequence, however, there were also other scenes where the film looks too dark for no reason (I’m referring to an outside scene on plain daylight). The audio at times becomes hard to understand, but is not so bad that you could not follow the story. Most of the special effects are good, and although there are others that could look and work better with a bigger budget, it was nothing that could ruin the movie for me, nor made me stop watching.
Now, while the pacing of the film could seem very slow for some people, I would like to note that there are a several key details explained that have a lot of weight later on the film. This might be a problem for the casual viewer that is expecting a lot of action, but everything pays off if you are patient with the pace. I must confess that some things on the second half of the film didn’t seem to make sense, but it was because I didn’t detect some information given in the first part of the film, so I’ll recommend a second viewing, and to NOT have a cellphone around in order to avoid distractions, also because the story line does not go on a straight sequence.
On the acting side I have no complaints, although there were some performances that I enjoyed more than others, like the ones by Thierry Lhermitte , Philippe Nahon and André Valardy, that even when their roles were not very big on time, there were very memorable, specially Valardy and the speech his character gives at some point about the bad side of achieving immortality.
Sometime ago, I read some reviews complaining about the film having segments where the characters spoke French and Mvskoke (a native American dialect) without any subtitles for the regular audience, while is true that there is a scene where some characters briefly speak french without subtitles, there is a good reason for that (that I’m not going to spoil) and I think is one of the many particular things the films has working on its favor, for the rest of the film (and languages) we do have English subs, so don’t let that stop you for enjoying this film.
Written and directed by Dylan Bank and Morgan Pehme, “Nothing Sacred” is a film that brings us a Dark Fantasy story with a very interesting lore, at the same time adding elements of martial arts and the native American culture to the mix, and to that, I say “Nicely Done”. While I am aware that this might not be a film for everyone, I do recommend it to be seen at least once, especially to all the aspiring filmmakers with too many weird ideas and that think they can’t find a way to make them work together.
I for one, am eager to see what Banks and Phem will do next.