THE SADNESS is a horror movie from Taiwan. On the surface, the setting is very familiar; A pandemic has become part of everyday life and mutations are now the bigger issue. The latest mutation is brutal: It turns us into zombie-like creatures. Read our full The Sadness movie review here!
THE SADNESS is a horror movie set in a pandemic-battling city in Taiwan. Recently, the pandemic hasn’t been too much of a problem and people are starting to slip up on protecting themselves (and others). However, now is the time when they should really be social distancing.
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The latest mutation is worse than a thousand pandemics combined. It turns every infected person into a zombie-like serial killer. Actually, if they had become “just” zombies, it would have been easier. The new mutation is so much worse… except for the purpose of this movie. This horror movie from Taiwan is absolutely brilliant in its execution!
Continue reading our The Sadness movie review below.
Just run and hide… now!
Obviously, the setting of a pandemic-riddled world is very familiar right now. We all know that a pandemic quickly becomes part of everyday life and later on the mutations become the bigger issue. Well, fortunately, we haven’t encountered anything close to the mutation that occurs in The Sadness.
Very, or actually extremely, soon after having been infected, people turn into zombie-like psychos. What this mutation does is essentially remove all inhibitors, which turns us all into violent predators. Every person becomes a serial killer (unless they’re killed first themselves) and uses sexual violence.
However, make no mistake. The Sadness isn’t about the politicization of pandemic issues. Nor is it about men being crazy sex predators and women being the victims. Gender almost (almost!) becomes irrelevant. Once someone becomes infected, they just want to hurt, assault (often in sexual ways), and kill. Whether a man or woman stands in front of them becomes a very minor issue!
This means you need to run and hide immediately if you’re not infected.
Zombies with a personality?!
Even though we use the term “zombie-like” to describe these infected people, it isn’t really fair. The infected humans still have their own memories and something resembling a personality. So, if a man has shown interest in a woman, you can be damn sure he’ll go after that woman once he turns into a zombie.
He’ll just also be ready to hurt, kill or f*ck anyone who gets in his way beforehand.
The infected also go after one another, but those interactions seem to be strangely consent-filled. Once you’re infected, you just want to eat, kill, and have sex. Preferably do all three things at the same time while inflicting pain.
And yes, there is a lot of blood and gore in this movie. However, the truly shocking moments (for me, in any case) came from the dialogue. Good Lord, some lines are spoken in this movie that I would have never expected to hear. And now I can’t forget them. Still, it never feels “easy” or “gratuitous”.
It’s just part of human beings gone wild… sort of like reading comments on Facebook, but out in the real world!
Watch The Sadness on Shudder in May 2022!
Rob Jabbaz is the writer and director of The Sadness and whatever you expect, this movie will probably shock you. In good ways, I hope, but please be ready for just about anything. Nothing involving sexual violence towards kids or anything like that. It’s not that crazy and is meant to entertain. It’s people being on their absolute worst behavior because they can!
While watching The Sadness (or perhaps after, since the movie had my entire attention), it reminded me of two other movies involving zombies in some way or another. One is the French The Night Eats the World which is a slow-burn survival movie of a zombie horror drama. The other was One Cut of the Dead which is a horror-comedy that I cannot recommend enough!
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Neither of them has crazy slasher scenes or extremely dirty humor and dialogue. Still, they’re two top-rated movies that offer a somewhat different take on zombie stories. Especially if you enjoyed the craziness of One Cut of the Dead, you should check out this one. The Night Eats the World is a good reference in terms of the desperation and hopelessness prevalent.
This is the feature film debut for Rob Jabbaz as both writer and director, which seems crazy to me. I really cannot wait to see what Rob Jabbaz comes out with next, but I know we’ll be eager to watch and review it!
The Sadness was screened at Fantasia 2021. It will premiere on Shudder on May 12, 2022.
DIRECTOR: Rob Jabbaz
WRITER: Rob Jabbaz
CAST: Regina Lei, Tzu-Chiang Wang, Berant Zhu, Ying-Ru Chen, Wei-Hua Lan, Lue-Keng Huang, Ralf Yen-Hsiang Chiu, Chi-Min Chou
The city of Taipei suddenly erupts into bloody chaos as ordinary people are compulsively driven to enact the most cruel and ghastly things they can imagine. Murder, torture, and mutilation are only the beginning… A young couple is pushed to the limits of sanity as they try to reunite amid the violence and depravity. The age of civility and order is no more.