A couple of depraved killers find themselves in a different situation when the survivor takes matters into her own hands.
Director and Writer: Millie Loredo
Stars: Vannessa Vasquez, Andrew Sensenig, Melissa Mars
Sorrow is a limp film that follows two killers on their completely senseless acts of torture and murder. Without a purpose for their actions other than the loosest of ties to Satanism, our killers aren’t given any depth or motivation and as such their “journey” feels detached and uninteresting. A limp protagonist who remains bound for a good chunk of the film also hampers Sorrow as the glaringly obvious options for conflict and thrills between her and the killers are squandered for jarringly cut/joined scenes, waylaid direction and the biggest dump of exposition I’ve ever had to sit through in all my movie viewing life.
The film begins with the deaths of our serial killers and their only surviving, er… survivor (who we don’t see) sent to the hospital. In the first red flag of the film, we follow Detective Salinas (Melissa Mars) as she investigates the scene so much so that you connect to her as the protagonist of the film. The only survivor of the murders, the captive, skips the hospital before Salinas can question her and it is here we abandon Salinas for the rest of the film (bar act 3) and follow the captive, Mila (Vanessa Vasquez) and her fleeing in a bus. We are then flashed back to re-visit her past and see exactly what happened with her and the killers and their deaths.
Essentially Mila is at the wrong place at the wrong time. Her car breaks down and she just so happens to ask for help at the very house our psycho killers have broken into. Being psychos, they instantly bludgeon her and lock her in a chest freezer and pile the smallest logs known to man on top to try and keep her inside. Unsurprisingly they don’t and Mila escapes giving the viewer the first possible chance at actual thrill and drama thus far as everything up until this point happens fast and without any tension, including Mila’s bludgeoning. Unsurprisingly, no thrill or tension is utilised and Mila is caught again by completely random people who miraculously know our serial killers. They promptly deliver her back to them within the “30 minutes or it’s free” timeframe.
Mila’s mother, who’s doing a house-by-house visit searching for her daughter, makes the folly of visiting the house. Our main psycho, Dale (Eric Martinez) feigns ignorance but that doesn’t sit right with good ol’ mum. What seems like only 5 seconds after Dale closes the door in her face, the mother opens it up, creeps into the house then promptly calls out for anybody as she sneaks around (yep, that’s right…) She finds Mila bound to a bed and then is promptly dispatched by Dale. Can you sense the lack of tension and thrill in my description? Good, because that is exactly how it played out. There is nothing, absolutely no tension built up to this, the whole scene of the mother getting to the house, entering, finding Mila and being killed happens in around a minute. No tension or thrill or drama can be built up in such a little timeframe….
The killers, instead of killing her like they do to every other woman they kidnap, transport Mila to their rundown, shitty abode and keep her chained to the wall while they go about killing people for no real rhyme or reason, well none that are given to us anyway. We simply watch them do their deeds as Mila simply sits on her dirty mattress… The tension was palpable… Just kidding… I’ve witnessed more tension in my bowel movements to be honest.
When the script wants to, Mila escapes, and in the most jarringly scene jump I have ever witness in all my years of watching films, she ends up at some lady’s house. Why? How? No fkn idea. We literally see her run out of the house and then we jump to her waking up in this lady’s home. That’s it….
This lady, a hooker, doesn’t want to let Mila use her phone to call the cops as she doesn’t want to get caught so she directs her to her sister, a well-dressed woman who lives in a shithole, complete with warped metal plates for dinner. Her clothing and demeanour completely misfit her actual living conditions and made it comical to me. Anyway, here we learn Mila studies criminal psychology for no reason other than to let her spout psychological babble later on in the film to evoke some kind of coherency to the script.
Anyway, as your attention is surely fading reading this, mine was too as the story progresses back to the present and we finally see Detective Salinas again still trying to figure out the case. She manages to track Mila down (using sorcery, I believe) and attempts to take her back to the station but Mila has other plans…
After some more plot conveniences, uneventful and painfully acted scenes and just plain ol’ lazy writing, we are finally told key information Mila somehow finds out (using sorcery too… she must have went to the same sorcery school as Salinas…) and we are Basil Expositioned up the wazoo to learn the whole truth and then come to the very, very welcomed end credits.
Acting was barely standard to laughably sub-standard, with nothing really worth mentioning. The stale dialog didn’t help either and was just passable to get the film to the end credits.
The score was okay, but sound effects were crap. The gunshots sounded like cap guns and even were used on a silenced gun!
Direction and cinematography was pretty meh in my eyes, with camera angle choices leaving me scratching my head and scenes starting far too late or ending far too early, or even at times, both. If this was intentional by the director for narrative purposes it still fails in my eyes as it’s one thing to hold information from the audience to hand it to them at a reveal, but to completely leave out information so the viewer has to interpret things themselves even for non-important information is pretty lazy writing and direction. Not even the demise of the killers was played out for tension, instead they were thrown in at the end simply to tie up the film. There was so much at hand for the writer to play with to provide tension, drama and thrills but it was all completely and utterly squandered. Such a shame…
Would I watch this again? No. It was boring, un-engaging and the lack of motive for our killers, lack of drama, tension and thrills that could have very easily been injected countless times made this a real chore to watch. A pile of exposition is crapped onto us in the 3rd act to try and make sense and reason for the last hour and so of film instead of skillfully showing this throughout. The bones were there to make it a pretty average experience, but this was seemingly an impossible task for our writer/director. They just couldn’t be assembled into a coherent and entertaining piece of work. I wish the writer/director good luck in their next endeavour and hope that they learn from the numerous mistakes made in this film.
Would I recommend this to anyone? No.
0 out of 5 expositional expositions