Title: The Sadness
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Rob Jabbaz
Starring: Berant Zhu, Regina Lei, Ying-Ru Chen, Tzu-Chiang Wang
Runtime: 1 hr 39 mins
What It Is: A young couple named Jim (Zhu) and Kat (Lei) wake up one morning, finding themselves in a bit of a tiff when Jim forgets about the trip that Kat had tediously planned for them, and insists that he needs the acting gig he was hired to do, and will miss the trip. Frustrated, Kat leaves for work. Shortly after, Jim finds a strange old woman standing on top of a building, staring wildly and covered in blood. Following him into a cafe, the old woman goes on a crazed spree, vomiting, biting, and murdering. The incident leads others to follow the same contagious, depraved will, spread by a dangerous virus that turns normal people into horny killing machines. Determined to find each other and reach safety, Jim and Kat run through their town evading the sadistic hosts attempting to reunite.
What We Think: A strong Taiwanese title to add to the genre’s lineage of The Crazies, 28 Weeks Later, World War Z, Train to Busan viral horror-thriller movies, The Sadness has a lot to offer, namely in its naturalistic characters trapped within a nightmare where a seemingly inescapable terror ends in tortured death. This movie boats its depravity through numerous scenes of mutilation, sex, and gore, some of which is pointedly rooted in some society mindset. Beware, some of the assualts may be triggering for some, but for myself I found the hyper-violence to be so often and extravagant that it becomes a bit desensitizing, but enjoyable in a cartoonish way. It’s not a movie with a deep underlying message or strikes out to do anything absurdly different, but to rather quench any thirst for blood and guts and use of genitals that audiences out there may have. This is a movie solely FOR the horror movie nut jobs, such as myself. It’s satisfyingly icky and wicked, and overall makes for a fun, gross-out sort of watch.
Our Grade: B, A creatively depraved watch that provides enough scenes of unique violence that makes it a perfectly cool late-night viewing alone or with a party of like-minded horror fans, The Sadness deserves its hype as a more insensitive and overall messed-up virus movie in the face of our own real-life pandemics. I can smell the death scene compilations on Youtube already, but the film in its entirety is most definitely worth the watch. Available soon on Shudder.