If you have been following my reviews, it was last week in my review of After Yang that I had mentioned that my watchlist had been constantly shrinking. So I have been on the constant lookout for films which I could watch and review during the week. And in one of my facebook communities, I came across this film which seemed to make me interested. The film was The Sadness and it was a Zombie flick. I absolutely love the Zombie genre wherein if the films are executed well, they will consistently keep you on your toes. With that I finished watching the Taiwanese film The Sadness and here are my two cents on it.
Story & Screenplay
The Sadness follows the story of a young couple who are trying to reunite amidst a pandemic that turns people into bloodthirsty sadists. The story might seem typical but it takes that zombie genre a notch higher. So here the Zombies are slow moving dimwits. Instead, they are energetic sadists who even talk like humans. The screenplay standing at just under a 100 minutes is taut and well paced. However, it begins on a mellow note with the introduction of the two protagonists and almost building an atmosphere which will make you uncomfortable wherein you do sense something amiss. Some of the political references add value to the story here. Ten minutes into the film, the real action kick starts!
Some of the most gory and violent scenes are depicted here which will make your jaw drop with fear and disgust. This as you try to figure out as to how are the “zombies” behaving differently from the ones seen in other films. The drama is entertaining and it will constantly keep you on your toes. Certain sequences like the one in the train will send a shiver down your spine. The amount of blood used is quite in abundance and the killings are probably the most brutal you will ever see! The entire hospital sequence is beautifully executed and it creates an ambience of fear. The one drawback of the film lies in its simplistic final act which was grounded to reality but too simple. Perhaps a layered narrative at the end would have been helpful in closing down the film well. But nevertheless, this is an exciting screenplay filled with gore that will keep you invested throughout.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are adequate as they should be in a zombie film with a gem or two thrown in. The BGM is good and it heightens the drama. The cinematography and art design are excellent, some of the makeup done on zombies are brilliant and they add a sense of disgust instantly. Director Rob Jabbaz has done a phenomenal job in taking the zombie genre a step forward. The innovations in this genre making zombies sadistic was a genius idea and it raised the level of excitement in the film.
The performances are excellent here. Wei-Hua Lan as Dr. Alan is top notch particularly at the backend of the film. Tzu-Chiang Wang as the Business is terrifying and he does enough to send a shiver down your spine. Berant Zhu as Jim does a great job in a role which I thought was a tad underwritten. But it is Regina Lei as Kat who shines in this film. She looks very pretty and has a magnetic presence in the film. And she excels in quieter moments as well as in combat scenes.
The Sadness is a gory and violent fest which will be enjoyed by lovers of the Zombie genre. This one is pretty good!