Sinful is a 2020 American horror thriller feature film about a married lesbian couple that find themselves terrorised by a masked maniac.
Written and directed by Rich Mallery (Holy Terror; Sociopathia), the CineRidge Entertainment production stars Nicole D’Angelo (Quarantine Girl; Heartbeat; Body of Night), Christina Lo (Choke; Acrylic; The Black String) and Chris Spinelli. The movie was produced by Gregory Hatanaka (director of Choke; Quarantine Girl; Heartbeat; Body of Night) and aforementioned Chris Spinelli (Quarantine Girl; Heartbeat; Choke; Revamped).
On the run after committing a horrific crime, newlywed passionate couple Remy (Nicole D’Angelo) and Salem (Christina Lo) find themselves waiting in vain in a mysterious house for their male accomplice as terrifying darkness closes in on them…
Sinful begins with a montage of brief shots of what appears to be a bloody home invasion, the details of which remain unrevealed as the scene immediately cuts to newly-wed couple Remy (Nicole D’Angelo) and Salem (Christina Lo). The latter is particularly paranoid, spooked by even the merest noise outside their hideout. Having smashed their mobile phones, the jittery pair have no way to contact their accomplice, Tyler.
As time ticks by and Tyler fails to show up, their initial passion dissipates and the combination of claustrophobia and guilt over their still unexplained crime begins to take its toll. A quick combo of snorted coke and gulped beer hardly helps to reduce the oppressive atmosphere.
So far so good, but we’re just fifteen minutes in and for the next hour the audience is subjected to a circuitous flurry of repetitive scenes that slowly reveal the nature of the home invasion; these are counterpointed with flashbacks to the lovers embracing happily in the sun. Once Salem begins to see a masked figure and hear voices, Sinful descends into a spiral of fairly similar scenes that make up much of the remaining running time.
There’s a slender plot and despite the intrigue of gradual reveals as to what the stressed pair actually perpetrated, it’s not enough to carry a whole movie, despite the valiant efforts of both actresses. That said, there is undoubtedly a palpable sense of heightening hysteria that may satisfy some easily-entertained viewers.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
“When they’re not screaming and yelling at each other, this grinds to a halt with meaningless flashbacks to their past or just wandering around the house making this feel quite padded and ruining the attempted paranoia being built. While things pick up slightly in the third act due to some action with the masked mad and their past revealed, the extreme boredom and amateurish production values nuke this one very underwhelming.” Don’s World of Horror and Exploitation
” …the depth of the characters’ petrifying expressions overpower the exhibition of horror elements. The film does speed up a little towards the climax that surprises the audience with a plot twist. The cinematography, editing, and eerie sound effects are good enough for a flick made during quarantine. Yet I think Sinful would have been more absorbing as a short film.” Leaky Loonage
“A pretty effective piece of slow-burn horror that does a great job of playing up the mysterious aspects of its story and manages to feed the viewer just as much of the whole as one needs to know at any given point, as with each revelation the film only gets more horrific. And a spectacle free directorial effort really helps highlighting the psychological aspects of the story…” Search My Trash
“Writer/director Rich Mallery co-wrote and co-directed Sociopathia which also dealt with lesbianism, paranoia and madness. Unfortunately where that film was effective, Sinful is just dull and repetitive. Things finally start to pick up in the last half hour but not by much. The big reveal of what they’re on the run from didn’t come as much of a surprise.” Voices from the Balcony
Sinful was released on 24 July 2020 on Amazon Prime by Cinema Epoch.
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