13th Jan2021

‘The Sinners’ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Kaitlyn Bernard, Brenna Llewellyn, Brenna Coates, Keilani Elizabeth Rose, Jasmine Randhawa, Carly Fawcett, Natalie Malaika, Aleks Paunovic, Lochlyn Munro, Dylan Playfair, Tahmoh Penikett, Loretta Walsh, Elysia Rotaru, Michael Eklund | Written by Courtney Paige, Erin Hazlehurst, Madison Smith | Directed by Courtney Paige

I think you all know me by now and realise that I am willing to give pretty much anything a fair shake. The Sinners synopsis did read like a bit of a change pace as well, moving into the more teen angs drama territory with a promise of some sort of “Mean Girls meets The Craft” hybrid. Of course I wasn’t the biggest fan of Let’s Scare Julie which felt like it was trying to do a similar things. So I was quietly hoping that this one would win me over…

The Sinners, formerly known as The Color Rose (our review of the film under that title is here), tells the story of a group of seven young girls approaching womanhood in a small back water town that’s full of religious types who have banned dancing… Wait no that’s not this! But there are a whole bunch of religious nuts. In their clique as an act of some misguided defiance they have each taken the role as one of the seven deadly sins. I think there was a story beat where one of the girls is not as into it as the rest of them so they try to scare her satanic but nearly kill her, or do kill her. Then something something they all start being killed off and it becomes a whodunit until something something end credits.

As you can probably tell I wasn’t all that into The Sinners truth be told. It starts strong, with some nice visuals of one of the main girls floating in the river with a rose in her mouth. Visually this was striking… THEN… Dead girls narration comes on and I don’t know, I started to already lose interest. Do we flash back or forward? I wasn’t that bothered and the film begins to show us the events leading up to this and the lives of our key characters. It’s an issue if I lose interest in the characters throughout the movie but it’s a problem if you never gained my interest to start with.

Cast wise The Sinners is fine, eveyrone and their performances are very passable. This is a decent group of young girls who all seem to be getting along on set but my only real problem was that none of them seemed to be the star, or the leader, of the group; they were all just pretty generic but again nobody actually does anything wrong here.

Director Courtney Paige clearly has a grasp on how she wants the screen filled visually because this is a pretty confident piece. I wasn’t overly keen on the taking different perspectives aspect but that wasn’t really that much of a problem. I feel like there is a very accomplished director coming out of The Sinners and I will absolutely keep an eye on her projects but this one just falls short of the mark for me and I didn’t really take to the whole “God is good ,the Devil is bad” but good people do bad things thinking it’s for the good… Just go watch Devils Advocate again.

I’m sitting on the fence with The Sinners and go right down the middle with my score. While this movie wasn’t really for me (I don’t think it’s supposed to be) I can see a certain audience taking to it. I really hope they find it and give it a chance all movies deserve to be seen and like I say Paige clearly has a talent and a style but this time out it was bogged down with convoluted storytelling. Oh, and Lochlyn Munro turns up for no reason at all about 30 minutes from the end like an RKO (if you know you know) just to drop some snappy one-liner put downs. Meh.

**½  2.5/5

The Sinners is released on Digital and VOD on January 18th 2021, courtesy of Signature Entertainment.


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