The Sadness (2021) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Sadness (2021) Review

Horrorific content by Bleaz79 on December 17th, 2021 | Movie Review | Survival, Cannibalism, Madness, Gore, Zombie, Extreme, Splatter, Virus, Apocalypse

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It’s about a young couple trying to reunite after a virus ravages their city, turning anyone infected into a deranged, uninhibited, sadist.

The Sadness is a Taiwanese film written and directed by Robert Jabbaz in his feature debut, and stars Berant Zhu as Jim, Regina Lei as Kat and Tzu-Chiang Wang as The Businessman.

We’re all angry, selfish monsters

The Sadness (2021)

Take all the blood from the lawnmower scene in Braindead, multiply it by 100, throw in the Rage zombies from 28 Days Later, but make them nastier, and add in some political commentary and black humour that would make Romero proud and you have The Sadness.

Okay, I’ll put this up front, this has been called the most violent and depraved zombie movie ever made. If you have issues with blood on screen, firstly why are you reading a review on a horror movie site? Secondly, I would avoid this, because there is a lot of gore, floors, streets and people are literally covered in the stuff. There is also a litany of trigger warnings for this including sexual, physical and mental abuse, rape, animal cruelty, infanticide, honestly the list goes on. But, trust me, don’t let any of that put you off.

The central conceit is a familiar one, two lovers trying to reunite during an apocalyptic setting, as all other humans lose their minds and tear the city, and each other, to literal pieces. The infection has also been used before, both in Romero’s The Crazies and the aforementioned 28 Days Later, but never to this extreme.

Extreme is the order of the day for The Sadness. It takes graphic violence, sex and sexual violence to the next level, nothing is off the table. Whilst this may sound like a distasteful experience, it’s all undercut with a vein of blacker than night humour that makes it completely palatable. Should you be laughing at some of this? Absolutely not. Are you laughing at it? Yes, yes you are.

The movie takes the timely topic of governmental management of an outbreak and runs with it, making light of bureaucracy with a razor sharp wit that never descends into farce. It takes that same blade to the general public being dismissive and disbelieving of a virus that is causing the deaths of people far away from them and turns it viciously against them. These are some of the funniest, and most damning, scenes considering the pandemic that raged as this was filmed.

The central cast is marvelous, special mention has to go to Tzu-Chiang Wang who creates one of the most disturbing villains that horror has seen in a long time, going from sympathetic to utterly and irredeemably hateful in less than five minutes.

If I had to pick fault with the movie, it’s that it can occasionally go too far and the script is slightly over-zealous in its exploration of the depravity that people are capable of, so much so that the occasional scene of exposition or a break in the action can come as a relief.

The Sadness is pretty much relentless in its horror and the direction and script by Jabbaz stumbles in execution at a few points. The sadistic physical & mental abuse of a larger figured lady is one example where it becomes uncomfortably excessive and, though it does lead to one of the film’s biggest WTF moments, the impact could have been spread across more than one character without losing any of its power or appeal. It’s only once the film is over that you notice this though as you are swept up in the enjoyably lunatic rollercoaster of blood, violence and humour playing out onscreen.

Be prepared for this film, it’s a descent into a level of madness that you may not be ready for.

Worth Watching?

Absolutely. For zombie fans, gore hounds and horror junkies it’s an unmissable assault on the senses that throws all morals out of the window. For everyone else, well, there’s always Warm Bodies.

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