Every year there is a movie that pays a visit to horror film festivals across the world to leave a mark, a movie that almost nobody heard about but that finds its place to be in every top list of the season. This year, one of the candidates to be the most intense and must-see title of the year is the Taiwanese horror film The Sadness (2021).
In the movie, 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“.
This is the debut film as the writer and director of Canadian filmmaker based in Taiwan Rob Jabbaz, who initiated his career as an animator working on short films, music videos, and advertising. The main cast is formed by Regina Lei, Berant Zhu, Ying-Ru Chen, and Tzu-Chiang Wang.
After its premiere in Taiwan on January 22, 2021, The Sadness (2021) has been taking of several international film festivals including MOTELX – Lisbon International Horror Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Fantasia International Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Frightfest, where it has achieved mostly positive opinions praising the extremity of the images, the violence and depravity, and, some of them, even venturing to categorize it as a cult-classic. This October it will also take part in Beyond Fest, Sitges Film Festival, L’Absurde Séance, Fantasy Filmfest, and Chicago International Film Festival.
Here you can watch the trailer for The Sadness (2021) shared by the MOTELX festival.