We know what we are in for from the beginning of Sacred Creatures with its noir-ish opening scene of a sinister and mysterious family. They bicker about a death, a pendant, a dagger, their future and how at least they should try to be civil with each other. There is something big afoot and they all need to cooperate.
This beginning chapter evokes gangster stories and any number of vampire tales but isn’t either. Instead, Raimondi and Janson have created a tense and original take on the supernatural. This “family” doesn’t seem evil so much as indifferent to humans. We are inferior and there is no reason for them not to use us for their own purposes. We are beneath consideration and their goals have nothing to do with the best interest of mere mortals.
What is the exact nature of these supernatural creatures is not readily apparent, but the title is a big hint. The battle has begun and there is more at stake than we can imagine. The human element of hard-boiled detective is more of a family man than the typical loner, but as he gets drawn into this high stakes game, clearly that just gives him more to lose. Meanwhile, another human, a pawn in this game, is slightly sympathetic. He gets manipulated, but he’s kind of a loser anyway.