The Sadness was a movie that I had seen stills from but had no idea the name of the movie. The stills were always filled with blood and during the break in the violence the pervades the movie. I wasn’t aware of anything to do with the movie that is until it was announced to have been purchased for streaming by Shudder. This past week has been me seeing people talk about the movie and me learning so much more than I previously knew. This is one of the most violent movies I’ve seen in sometime. This is certainly a way to get your name out there with a directorial debut.
The Sadness was written and directed by Rob Jabbaz. This was a Taiwanese movie by a Canadian. I’ve seen some comparisons between the movie and the comic book series called The Crossed. Both have to do with an infection that leads to the infected committing depraved violence in every form possible. With this being his first feature Jabbaz shows an almost innate ability to build tension. The beginning of the movie is very similar to the remake of Dawn of the Dead but there’s no buffer in The Sadness. He was also able to create characters that you feel for during the events of the movie.
The cast of The Sadness consists of Berant Zhu, Regina Lei, Ying-Ru Chen, -Tzu-Chiang Wang, Emerson Tsai, Wei-Hua Lan, and Raif Chiu. Berant Zhu and Regina Lei are the leads, and you feel for them. You get just a glimpse of their characters before the shit hits the fan. Tzu-Chiang Wang is absolutely terrifying in The Sadness. When you first seem him, he’s awkward and its like something out of a cringe comedy. When it actually starts, the way he carries himself shifts and he is a being of pure menace. All of the infected have a creepy unsettling smile but combined with how he carries himself it looks like he could have been picked right out of a slasher movie.
The effects in The Sadness, both practical and CG, are amazing. The practical effects are insane. That doesn’t even include the ridiculous amounts of blood used throughout the movie. It isn’t quite Brain Dead/Dead Alive levels of gore, but it makes the extreme violence less unsettling. The infected have contacts that immediately lets you know that there’s something wrong with them. The CG is used to add just the little extra to some of the shots. Everything comes together for it to feel like a gut punch. The gut punch is followed up by a headbutt thanks to the music by TZECHAR. The score amps everything in the movie up an extra hit.
The Sadness is a transgressive bloody movie that has some stuff to say about the last few years under the veneer of blood and violence. There’s not much else I can say about the movie, but I do think this is a movie people should see. I found it less bleak that Martyrs but that’s because was expecting this level of violence. The ending is bleak and downbeat, but it isn’t nearly as upsetting as I found Martyrs. You can stream The Sadness on Shudder. I give The Sadness 9.5 hedge trimmers out of 10.