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Animal sacrifice is older than history. Human beings have slaughtered birds and livestock throughout the ages in attempt to propitiate the gods—to alter fate, to enhance fortune, to pay for sins. One of the great hymns of the Rigveda is that of the Horse Sacrifice, which only a king can perform. The rituals continue to this day, as the photographs in this collection show: in the Muslim and Hindu worlds, as well as in Judaism. The first murder related in the bible stems from jealousy over sacrifice. Cain’s sacrifice of vegetables did not please God as much as his brother’s sacrifice of animals—and so Cain slew Abel.

Of the world’s great faiths, only Buddhism and Daoism eschew rituals of animal sacrifice, indeed, the taking of any life. Indeed, according to legend, one of the Buddha’s previous incarnations gave up his life to feed a hungry tiger. The various Christian sects and denominations very rarely perform animal sacrifices. But the very Catholic societies of Spain and Latin America still hold bullfights, which are descended from pagan animal sacrifices. And, of course, at the heart of Christianity is a sacrament that is essentially a human sacrifice.

Checkout LightBox’s Animal Magic: Curious Critters. The fourth installment of recent news images that reveal the endless wonders of the animal kingdom.

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With Frightfest coming up in the next few couple of weeks, what better time to showcase some of the horror creeping towards the big screens in the second half of the year. First up is British horror with a big reputation Kill List, something from horror stalwart Melissa George with A Lonely Place to Die, Scandanavian hunting with Troll Hunter, and a reimagining of The Wicker Man with orginal director Robin Hardy's The Wicker Tree… Enjoy!

Kill List - Released 2nd September
Directed by Ben Wheatley

A Lonely Way to Die - Released 9th September
Directed by Julian Gilbey

Troll Hunter - Released 9th September
Directed by Andre Ovredal

The Wicker Tree - Released Late 2011
Directed by Robin Hardy

Previous Trailer Tuesdays.

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