The Sadness title image
, , , , ,
99 min/
Release Date
The Sadness poster

If you have limits, The Sadness will push them. If you think you can handle gory movies, it will make you question your resolve. And if you have a sensitive gag reflex, the film will test it. Streaming on Shudder, this Taiwanese horror movie opens with a warning that it “contains graphic and extreme violence/gore.” When a horror-themed streaming service feels obliged to alert subscribers, who are presumably accustomed to watching scary and gory movies, about the graphic content to follow, you know you’re in for it. Canadian filmmaker Rob Jabbaz makes his directorial debut with this upsetting pandemic feature that uses grisly practical effects and gallons of vibrant fake blood for a 99-minute onslaught of violence—stabbings, dismemberments, face-meltings, sexual assaults, and flesh-eating. A dreadful sense of chaos fuels this engine, which drives through a cityscape overrun with infected people, similar to Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (2002). Except, these infected delight in satiating their most abject impulses. In contrast to Boyle’s film, The Sadness may not have much to say, but its methods are undeniably visceral to a level that cannot be ignored or overstated.

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