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Review: Sinful (2020)

Two women, Salem (Nicole D’Angelo, Heartbeat) and Remy (Christina Lo, Choke) are in love and on the run. They’ve committed a crime, we’re not sure what it was, but it was horrible. Now they’re hiding out in an empty house with a stash of drugs while they wait for their accomplice to pick them up.

But as the hours pass, and he doesn’t arrive, their paranoia starts to grow. That isn’t helped by the masked man (Chris Spinelli) Remy claims to keep seeing. Are the drugs causing her to hallucinate? Or is something sinister going on?

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Shot with a tiny cast and one location, Sinful takes the concept of a slow burn to the extreme. I was hoping for something along the lines of the similarly structured Cookers. Instead, I got a film where almost nothing happens for large stretches of its running time. There are repeated flashbacks that look very similar. There’s also a hallucination or maybe premonition that’s repeated to help pad the film’s length.

Sinful actually feels like a short script stretched out to make a feature. Long scenes of the women wandering around the house serve no real purpose except to kill time. Scenes of them snorting coke or making out with their clothes on that go on too long. And way too many scenes of Remy having meltdowns.

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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. Nor do the mid-credit scenes.

At twenty minutes, Sinful could have been interesting. At seventy-five, it’s a chore to get through. Cinema Epoch has it available for streaming if you feel the need to do your chores.

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