Wow… two feature reviews from Chewie in 2 days!!! Told you I was getting back on track!
Back in April, we brought you the news that BrinkVision was releasing the horror / thriller Sorrow. It tells the story of a couple of depraved serial killers who find themselves in a different situation when a survivor takes matters into her own hands.
Sorrow was written and directed by Millie Loredo and stars Vanessa Vasquez (Hulu’s East Los High), and musician/actress Mellissa Mars. Sorrow is said to be “inspired by actual events” which is a WAY overused tool in today’s horror landscape but I’ll let it slide.
SPOILER ALERT: This review will talk openly about plot points of the film. If you want to experience the film as it was intended please watch it before reading this review.
I was going to give you a plot summary based on my notes from watching the film. I quickly realized that the majority of my notes weren’t plot related but were rather review based. That said, I’m going to give the plot via the synopsis on the official Sorrow website:
Salinas is called to a crime scene unaware that this dispatch is going to be far from a usual day at work. Inside the modest home are two corpses, a kill room littered with the discarded clothing of numerous victims and strewn with blood smeared torture devices. Ana Salinas partner and lover is killed almost immediately when he unwittingly triggers a booby trap packing spring loaded darts. A young woman is found at the crime scene, dazed and confused with a bullet wound to the shoulder, but mysteriously slips away from the hospital before she can be questioned. It is revealed that the young woman, Mila Sweeney, a forensic psychologist has been captured weeks before by the Killers, relentlessly tortured and abducted to Texas. Mila has endured nights of unspeakable terror, listening as the psychopaths torture and kill women in an adjoining room of the house. In a desperate moment, she manages to escape and takes shelter in a local strip club, returning to the house in order to take revenge on her captors.
Thoughts & Recommendation
We start out in a strip club – always a good starting point. Sadly it doesn’t really pay off much later. The initial kill scene is actaully pretty cool that would have shocked me had I note looked at the synopsis prior to watching. I can’t state it any simpler: The film looks great. While the camera tends to stay in one place for too long many times if you’re taking screen shots of the flick you’re going to get some good looking stuff.
The dialogue starts off uncomfortable and sadly doesn’t get much better. I’m having a VERY difficult time following along with the plot here. First off, would the cops REALLY just allow their only suspect who was shot to just… walk out of their custody from the hospital? I’m all for suspension of disbelief when watching a horror movie but this is a stretch even for me.
Gunshots – I realize I’m being nitpicky here but they’re not NEARLY loud enough. Gunshots in Sorrow sound like cap guns. I know its difficult to get a true sounding gunshot on a budget, but when it takes me out of the my viewing experince it’s an issue.
More stuff that bothers me. When you get hit over the head with a baseball bat by a big dude, you don’t just “get up” a while later with minimal effect. Furthermore, you don’t just walk out of a house where you’re being held captive. Again, I’m all for suspension of disbelief but this is either poor storytelling or the worst captives in the history of kidnapping.
After the gal escapes she’s picked up on the road by… more folks from the gang. Talk about your worst day ever.
There’s a lot of offscreen violence here which actually works well. Quite a bit of the real “horror” we get here is offscreen especially when Mila’s mom gets killed. Actually now that I think about it I’m assuming she was killed. I’m not sure that’s ever verified but we never see her again. The middle portion of the film does a good job at establishing the bad guys. We see a variety of women being taken, tortured and killed. This is very effective but leads me to ask why is the main girl any different?
I honestly had a hard time keeping characters straight. For quite some time I thought the main girl Mila (Vannessa Vasquez) and the main cop Salinas (Melissa Mars) were the same person. I thought perhaps they were playing with time or flashbacks. That’s not a good thing. I’ve got several notes that talk about my confusion, that fact that I’ve got no idea how much time has passed and about relationships between characters.
In the end, we get a twist that I didn’t see coming, but it may have been because I wasn’t really able to follow along with the story. Sadly by that point I’d sort of checked out and was just waiting for things to be done. I was happy to see that we got a final flashback (or was it a flash forward?) to show us the killers got what was coming to them.
The trailer for Sorrow was awesome. It was damn near pefect. First time director Millie Loredo made a nice looking movie that was tough to follow but I’m definitely not writing her off. There was enough good in there to tell me that she’s got a bright future. Sadly when it comes to Sorrow, I was sorry I watched it. Watch the trailer and skip the flick.
Learn more or watch SORROW for yourself at the following links: