Director – Rob Jabbaz (Fiendish Funnies, Clearwater)
Starring – Berant Zhu (The Magician on the Skywalk, Mad Doctor), Regina Lei (76 Horror Bookstore, Antikalpa), and Ying-Ru Chen
Release Date – 2021
Rating – 4/5
I’m one of those people that tend to form controversial opinions about films. I go against the grain so to speak and often find myself the oddball out when it comes to film opinions. I like the weird and trashy side of cinema and that often draws fire from most movie goers when I saw things like that I prefer all the sequels over the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Hellraiser II and III are far more entertaining than the original.
When everyone flocks to a movie I find myself not caring for it much and the opposite. A lot of movies that movie goers dislike I find myself really enjoying them. A few days ago I saw so many of my friends on social media posting about The Sadness. I knew it was new to Shudder but I was not expecting to see so many posts about it when I did. This really intrigued me so I decided to finally check it out. It did not disappoint.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a young couple who begin their day like normal with the woman heading to work and the man returning home. However, things take a grisly turn when the city becomes overrun with infected. The infected are mad and thirst for flesh and sex. They rape and murder anyone not infected. Now, the couple fight their way to see each other while the infected are hot after them. **Spoiler Alert**
The Sadness is almost every bit of the hype that you’ve heard. The movie is brutal and depraved but not the most extreme film you’ve ever seen. I know a lot of pop horror fans will say it’s the movie violent movie they have ever witnessed but for genre fans it’s bloody and fun but nowhere near the most extreme film you’ve seen.
The acting in this one is great. Zhu and Lei are absolutely amazing together. Their on screen chemistry at the beginning of the film really pulls the viewers in and makes them feel that emotional connection with them. However, the star of the show is Tzu-Chiang Wang. His character brings so many emotions out of the viewer. When he is first introduced he is a mild mannered and polite business man but once the film goes off the rails so does his performance. His line delivery, menacing presence, and violent temper makes this film what it is for me. I fucking loved it and hope to see him tackle more genre roles.
The story for this one is not your typical zombie film. In fact, it’s an infected story that has gained in popularity in Asian countries after the release of #Alive and All of Us are Dead. I know this was filmed last year so I don’t know which was filmed first but if you took Joe Lynch’s Mayhem and combined it with #Alive or All of Us are Dead with some of the most vulgar and insanely memorable dialogue I have ever seen. It’s extremely fast paced and not a second of screen time is wasted. It’s a story that I can see spawning a franchise or even a series.
Finally, this film is gloriously bloody. We get some seriously impressive practical effect along with some unforgettable make-up effects. The gore is fantastic and the kills will stick with you for days. Overall, The Sadness is a must see infect film for fans of bloody cinema. It’s easily my favorite film of the year and one I can’t recommend enough. Do yourself a favor and watch this masterpiece.