Although Netflix mentions watching the episodes of Bloodride in any order, for review purposes we decided to start with Ultimate Sacrifice as it came up first on the list. This first installment presents us with an interesting take on Pet Sematary but also themed around greed and leading us to quite the clever twist at the end.
We begin on a dark rainy night with a creepy bus driver entering his vehicle. No one is sitting in the bus but when he looks in his mirror, multiple people suddenly appear. A blond woman, Molly, looks at her bloody hands before we cut to a man talking on the phone and heading to an interview for a finance company. We then flashback to 5 years before as Molly arrives in her new house in the country with her husband Leon and daughter Katja. Only she doesn’t seem happy with the move as she wanted to stay in the city. The neighbours, the Kopplen, soon come to greet them with their black cat and appear very interested in their dog Bolt.
The next day, the family is surprised to see the number of people from the village coming to help them clean the house and garden. As they all sit around the table to eat, Molly looks around and notices that everyone is very caring and protective of their pets.
The next day, while out on a run in the woods, Molly overhears Mrs Kloppen telling her friend that she has prepped her cat for months. She sees her taking it to the woods and stabbing it on a big rock. Molly becomes startled by this which gets the attention of the women. They take her back to their house and explain that the village is built on the remain of an old viking town where they used to sacrifice animals or people for good fortune. After someone put their sick dog down on the sacrificial stone, they ended up winning the lottery soon after, which in turn led to the villagers to carry on with this tradition.
Heading home, Molly desperately decides to catch a rat from her basement and takes it to the sacrificial stone where she kills it with a hammer. Immediately after, she heads to the store to buy a scratch card. Unfortunately, it only gives her 50 krone so she decides to confront the two ladies again, who tells her that to have a bigger reward, she needs to have a strong bond with the animal. This prompts her to bring her dog to the stone this time and kill it. Looking down at what she just done, she starts to shake in shock but washes her clothes before heading back to the shop to get a lottery ticket.
In the evening, Katja and Leon decide to go out to look for Bolt while Molly switches the TV on to check the lottery numbers. She only gets a few numbers so she heads back to speak to her neighbours about the results. They tell her that she has to really love the pets to get a big reward.
As she returns home, she seems to be overcome with guilt and asks her husband to head in the woods with her. Leon approaches the stone and cries when he sees the dog. Molly tries to explain why she did it and after telling her husband she loves him, she stabs him. Katja suddenly appears and tries stopping her mother. After a scuffle, Katja manages to get the better of her mum and hits her around the head with a rock just as her dad gets up.
We then cut forward to the man from the beginning heading for his interview. We see that the CEO of the company turns out to be Katja who is stroking a cat as we find out that she lost both her mum and dad within a year of each other.
Ultimate Sacrifice is quite a good episode to start this anthology off with as it give us a dark and twisted chapter. With enough mystery throughout, Ultimate Sacrifice is true to its name and keeps us guessing right up until the end as we reach the final, clever twist. It shows just how greedy people can be and to what extreme they are willing to go to to get what they want.
Molly starts off small as she desperately wants to return to the city then things quickly take a sinister turn when she decides to kill her husband to win big. The twist at the end was quite clever and one that I didn’t see coming, thanks in part to the good writing and story telling. Whether the rest of the series is as thrilling remains to be seen but Ultimate Sacrifice is a decent episode and for anyone looking for a decent horror anthology on Friday the 13th – Netflix may be on to a winner here.