The sadness

The sadness
Running time:99 minutes
Director:Rob Jabbaz
Release date:Not communicated
After a year of combating a pandemic with relatively benign symptoms, a frustrated nation finally lets its guard down. This is when the virus spontaneously mutates, giving rise to a mind-altering plague. The streets erupt into violence and depravity, as those infected are driven to enact the most cruel and ghastly things they can think of. Murder, torture, rape and mutilation are only the beginning. A young couple is pushed to the limits of sanity as they try to reunite amid the chaos. The age of civility and order is no more. There is only The Sadness.

Mulder's Review

The Sadness is a worthy descendant of George A Romero's cult trilogy (The Crazies (1973), Zombie (Dawn of the Dead) (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985)) as it recovers the true essence of the genre film and doesn't hesitate to deliver a film that is as gripping as it is ultra violent. The film written and directed by Rob Jabbaz is all the more successful as it places the action in the middle of a pandemic and delivers a perfectly mastered film that doesn't shy away from any censorship to deliver one of the most violent films discovered for a long time. In the same way, Rob Jabbazs takes care of the plot, which is the pretext for many scenes destined to become cult, as well as the image, and delivers with The Sadness the quintessence of horrific cinema, as bleeding as it is really scary. Surely Rob Jabbazs imposes himself with this film as one of the masters of horror next to John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper and of course George A Romero.

While last year was marked by the beginnings of a global pandemic and the development of new variants of Covid 19, The Sadness seems to use this global setting to develop a truly disturbing story and finds its strength in imposing the story in a realistic setting to move towards true horror with a non-stop flow of blood spurting. Taipei seemed until this film to be a welcoming metropolis with its architecture combining modernism and buildings from the past. Director and screenwriter Rob Jabbaz sets his story there. We discover this city suddenly transformed into a bloody chaos as ordinary people are compulsively driven to commit the cruelest and most horrible acts they can imagine. Murder, torture, rape and mutilation all unfold before our eyes with such violence and emotional force that the film stands out as a fierce classic of the genre. 

No one seems to be safe and a young couple tries to reunite amidst the violence and depravity that reigns in Taipei. The virus that spreads makes people not only violent and depraved but also totally insane. The result is scenes of a rare violence seen recently and above all a real care in the editing and the photography of the film rather rare in this type of independent productions. Whether it is a scene in the subway that will haunt the spectators after its vision, the use of an umbrella in an unorthodox way or moments in a hospital in which the violence finds its paroxysm, everything makes The Sadness a true celebration of the genre film and above all nothing really prepared us to discover such a film whose censorship seems to have had no force to make this film accessible to all. 

The director Rob Jabbaz also seems to have a grudge against the Chinese government and shows it clearly in a scene broadcasted on Taiwanese televisions that turns to a real butchery. This scene could almost appear as a wink to David Cronenberg's film Scanners. The director Rob Jabbaz seems to launch here a real game of massacre that could also remind some of the best zombie movies with its torn limbs, its severed heads and its very important flow of blood exceeding the limits of the gore of movies like the cinematographic saga Saw. 

Certainly, we will hear a lot about this film that will leave no one unmoved. Pushing the limits of the horror genre, relying on a cast that plays perfectly well and a powerful dialogue, The Sadness is the film that we didn't see coming and that imposes itself as a pure masterpiece of genre cinema for those who don't have a weak stomach and who grew up discovering films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead and other classics of the genre. A new master of horror is born, his name is Rob Jabbaz and we are already waiting for his next films.

The Sadness
Written and directed by Rob Jabbaz
Produced by David Barker, Wei-Chun Li, Jeffrey Huang
Starring Regina Lei, Tzu-Chiang Wang, Berant Zhu, Ying-Ru Chen, Wei-Hua Lan, Lue-Keng Huang, Ralf Yen-Hsiang Chiu, Chi-Min Chou 
Production companies : Machi Xcelsior Studios
Distributed by Raven Banner Entertainment (Canada)
Release date : NC
Running time : 99 minutes

Seen on august 15, 2021 (screener press Fantasia)

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