The company BrinkVision, a relative newcomer to the horror genre, though has been establishing themselves quickly with the releases of Basement Jack (2009); Cannibal Diner (2012) and now Sorrow, from screenwriter and director Millie Loredo, a thriller, with horror overlays for the subtle fans of the genre. In the past the genre of horror women directors appeared a few times, a rarity, and wrongly overlooked in a once male dominated director chair, but now with the rising talents for example Jessica Cameron and twin powerhouse Jen and Sylvia Soska, with creative talents battling for the horror-crazed fans.
First, Sorrow, states the highly overused trait to grab the attention of the audience, and this movie does require full dedication to understand the layered plot lines, but relying on the phrase “inspired by actual events” is just a red flag warning to the viewers. Loredo uses a familiar cliché of horror films, the broken down car and stranded woman, Mila (Vannessa Vasquez) taken hostage quickly by a trio of vicious people, two men and woman, (Eric Martinez, Brenden Whitney, and Mary Etuk) each with a sadistic mindset, though not to the level of Krug and gang from Last House on the Left (1972). However, instead of starting here, in the movie, actually shows the result, her successful escape and the forensic recap of the killers’ demise of overuse of drugs, a murder and finally suicide. Now, Mila suffered while not all shown on the film, hence avoids the pitiful of the exploitation market, a highly niche sub-genre for horror fans, of today’s ground swell, rather, focusing on thrilling aspects. Sadly, though the suspense factor of the movie, which often associates with these films, finds itself missing, since the near conclusion reveals the prognosis of Mila, early in the movie. Vasquez does an excellent job of portraying her character suffering torturing measures and humiliation all in attempts to break her mentally; however her character’s background in criminal psychology shows resistance, and hence provides her a safety solution. In the realm of horror films, an element of psychological torture does exist, and providing terrors to the audience, and showing the mirror image of serial killer’s mindset their dominance over the victim and the victim succumbing to them, without the victory, there can be no joy in the kill, therefore a battle of wills, forcing the endgame. The killers, meet their match with Mila, the killing spree and strike has hit the a speed bump, that frustrates them, though not to the proper characteristics or acting portrayal, the blame for this cannot be directed at one person, or the element, likely a lack of rehearsal time and chemistry.
The story construction, lays out a confusing maze of the plot points, dead ends , flashbacks, and even a few red herrings, for the audience to mull over, and one wonders if this helps to cover possible plot holes due to lack of funding. The puzzling array of options gives viewers time to mull the possibilities and distract of the pulling strings to try to manipulate them into false comfort levels. Melissa Mars, a famous pop singer from France, which has begun a crossover to the horror genre, with The Cabining (2014) and Curse of Mesopotamia (2015), stars as unconvincingly as Detective Salinas, a role that’s better serve as ambitious patrol officer. Nevertheless, Loredo sidesteps all reference points to the grindhouse market, and allows verbal and physical tactics to play on the thrilling setup of the movie.
As this represents the feature directorial debut of Millie, the script might have stretched the attention of the audience, with the usage of sometimes lacking sound quality and inconvincible actions of characters overcoming great harm, without flinching or wincing consequences. The added inconsistently of the camera lingering for staging effect and foreshadowing, a commonplace error among new directors, that one can overlook, however does tend to telegraph the upcoming action and in many cases the tension.
The senseless killing leaves many scratching their heads, mainly as the violence happens off screen, and thereby excludes the special effects of blood loss, for the fans to savor. Likely the cause lack of funds, nothing involving the ridiculous charges of squeamish, a purely incorrect sexist attitude by some viewers, rather in today’s horror market films require the necessary red liquid spraying outward often in torturous movies.