Sinful Movie Review

Written by Joanna K. Neilson

Released by Cinema Epoch


Written and directed by Rich Mallery
2020,74 minutes, Not Rated
Released on July 24th, 2020

Nicole D'Angelo as Salem
Chris Spinelli as Masked Man
Christina Lo as Remy

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Perhaps we can blame YouTube for shortening our attention spans, lowering our ability to focus for very long, and wearing out our dopamine tolerance until we’re almost unable to appreciate the slow burn of many excellent movies - particularly within the horror genre. However, the difference between an absorbing film taking its time to say something interesting, and a terrible one taking a overlong time to deliver almost nothing at all, is about where a viewer’s boredom and rage will intersect.

So, Sinful lands in that second category. And what a shallow mess it is.

The plot revolves around two deeply unsympathetic drug addicts, Salem and Remy, who are squatting in an empty house while the unfortunate owner is away (my sympathies for this absent homeowner, btw, these girls leave a real mess behind). They’re married, and on the run from… something awful they’ve done. Now they have to wait for their accomplice to come back and the plans after that are somewhat vague. So, while the couple are stuck in their self-inflicted lockdown, they bitch at each other, steal shit, unconvincingly make-out, and awkwardly dance to some music. They also take more drugs, put up bin-bags on the windows (because that’s not at all suspicious-looking) and try to obliterate the memory of whatever it was they did.

But some terrible memories are all too real and….some secrets just won’t go away. And also supernatural things happen! Maybe! Wait, who’s that creepy guy in the mask?

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Before long, the drugs, paranoia and general craziness take them both over, and Remy starts to see things that shouldn’t be there, and freak out and have to be talked down by Salem, over-and-over-and-over-and-over again. Each conversation they have is like nails raking through your brain, crushing the viewer’s spirit with the inanity and lack of wit on display.

Or maybe THAT is the point? We can hope, but it seems unlikely.

Now, it’s fair enough that low-budget films have their limits. Lockdown has also been quite trying for creative work. Acting is hard, I get it, but, good grief... this is an overlong, charmless and repetitive mess. There’s extremely little to care about, with lacklustre love scenes between two planks of wood, it’s simply impossible to give a damn when the overwrought revelations begin to pop out. We’re already worn down by wanting something, anything, to endear us to what happens to this couple.

Perhaps a much shorter, tighter story would have worked, as I did spot a tiny plot in there, and a hint of purpose, suffocated somewhere at the bottom of the cringey dialogue and indifferent action. As it is, this is too long, and a stiflingly dull journey into dry, listless mild peril.

Now, the music is actually pretty good, so it deserves an extra point for that. Otherwise, this film is about as sinful as an extra slice of your favourite cheesecake, but nowhere near as rewarding.

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Movie: 1 Star Rating Cover

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