The Sadness Review Zombie Film Shudder

Movie Bunker Score:

The Sadness: A Blood-Soaked Gore-Fest

Rob Jabbaz’s film, The Sadness, may lack the necessary depth to fully engage with its characters, but it compensates with its unrelenting brutality and gore. In the current landscape of horror cinema, we find ourselves amidst an exciting time, with many directors drawing inspiration from the pandemic to create thrilling and horrifying pictures. While some may miss the mark, there are notable works that capture the essence of fear and dread. Shudder, the popular streaming platform, has recently released Virus: 32, a pandemic-inspired horror film that explores the narrative core of a virus outbreak. While Virus: 32 showcased moments of compassion and heart, it held back on the level of aggression necessary to maintain a consistent tension throughout the film. However, Shudder has now brought us Rob Jabbaz’s The Sadness, a film that fully embraces the opposite end of the spectrum. This blood-soaked masterpiece stands as the bloodiest film of the year and is unlikely to be surpassed.

A Blood-Soaked Debut

Rob Jabbaz’s The Sadness serves as his feature-length directorial debut, making it all the more remarkable given its intense violence and carnage. Jabbaz not only directed this graphic spectacle but also wrote and edited it, showcasing his talent across multiple facets of filmmaking. The Sadness is set in Taipei, Taiwan, during our current pandemic times, subtly incorporating the theme of masks worn by the characters. The story follows the two main protagonists, Jim and Kat, in a heartwarming and tender moment before taking a sudden and violent turn. Within the first ten to fifteen minutes of the film, the screen is drenched in crimson red as the city of Taipei descends into chaos. Infected and deranged, people commit unspeakable acts of torture, mutilation, and murder.

A Frantic Journey through Chaos

Jim and Kat, now trapped on opposite sides of the city, must find a way to reunite amidst the madness and violence that permeates Taipei. The Sadness draws inspiration from horror classics like George A. Romero’s The Crazies and David Cronenberg’s Shivers and Rabid, creating a relentless and visceral experience reminiscent of the 2017 film Mayhem, albeit even bloodier. However, The Sadness falls short in terms of cohesive direction and narrative structure. Its breakneck pace leaves little room for the audience to connect with the characters or truly immerse themselves in the moments designed for emotional engagement. Additionally, the film lacks the necessary balance between heart and violence, which other successful horror films like Train to Busan have achieved.

One intriguing aspect of the infected beings in The Sadness is that, unlike traditional zombies, they retain their cognitive functions. They are not mindless creatures; rather, their inhibitions disappear, unleashing their capacity for malevolence. Consequently, their thirst for violence is swiftly quenched, leading to horrifying acts that some viewers may find difficult to watch. The graphic nature of these scenes, particularly those depicting sexual assault, may polarize audiences. Some will be captivated by the unflinching portrayal of violence, while others may find it excessive. Jabbaz seems to suggest that the potential for violence exists within all of us, and the virus serves as a catalyst to unleash the inherent hostility, resulting in carnage and decimation.

A Nasty and Blood-Soaked Spectacle

Despite its flaws, The Sadness deserves credit for its unapologetically gruesome and bloody nature. The film features a plethora of wince-inducing sequences that will make even hardened horror fans squirm. The practical effects and makeup work in The Sadness are truly commendable. From severed fingers to heads smashed with fire extinguishers, the film leaves no stone unturned in its quest for graphic depictions of violence. The Sadness is reminiscent of horror films from the 80s that would have faced censorship due to their extreme content. It also blends in dark humor, which adds shock value and occasional moments of relief (though some jokes may push the boundaries too far).

As a subject-matter expert, it is intriguing to wonder what Rob Jabbaz will explore in his future works. One can’t help but question if he will push the boundaries of brutality even further. For those who can stomach the unrelenting violence depicted on-screen, The Sadness is a surefire hit. While it may prioritize shock over analysis and curiosity, it will undoubtedly find its audience of gore enthusiasts.


In conclusion, Rob Jabbaz’s The Sadness delivers an intense and blood-soaked ride, making it the bloodiest film of the year. Its lack of character depth and emotional connection may hinder its overall impact, but its unapologetic approach to violence and gore will captivate those seeking a relentless and visceral experience. As a debut directorial effort, The Sadness showcases Jabbaz’s talent in handling practical effects and crafting a gruesome spectacle. While the film may not achieve the perfect balance between heart and violence, it stands as a testament to the potential darkness within humanity. The Sadness is far from a comfortable viewing experience, yet it is likely to amass a substantial following among fans of extreme horror.


1. Is The Sadness suitable for all audiences?

The Sadness features graphic violence, including scenes of sexual assault, making it unsuitable for sensitive viewers or those uncomfortable with extreme and disturbing content.

2. How does The Sadness compare to other pandemic-inspired horror films?

The Sadness sets itself apart from other pandemic-inspired horror films by embracing unfiltered aggression and relentless violence. While it sacrifices emotional depth, it offers a unique and blood-soaked experience.

3. Will there be a sequel to The Sadness?

While no official announcement has been made regarding a sequel to The Sadness, director Rob Jabbaz’s future works are eagerly anticipated by fans of the genre.

4. Can the shocking violence in The Sadness be justified?

The extreme violence depicted in The Sadness serves as a reflection of the potential for violence that exists within society. However, some viewers may find certain scenes uncomfortable or unnecessary.

5. Are there any moments of levity in The Sadness?

The Sadness incorporates dark humor throughout the film, providing occasional moments of relief amidst the unrelenting violence. However, some jokes may push the boundaries and may not resonate with all viewers.