Synopsis: Lilith, an unhappily married young woman plots to steal the unborn baby of her single and pregnant next door neighbor by befriending her and waiting for the right time to act.
Misty Mundae has always been an actress that I liked. The films are what they are, and if back in the days (more than 10 years ago) I endured some boring erotic spoofs (like Play-Mates of the Apes), well finally I didn’t know her career that well. Now known as Erin Brown, she was the effigy of E.I. Independent Cinema, she made more than 70 films, and not only erotic spoofs. Some gore films (The Rage, Dying God), often very low budget, erotic flicks, spoofs, and even an important part in one episode from Masters of Horror, Sick Girl from Lucky McKee (and she was great in it). A various career in fact. Sinful was a film released in 2006 (but of course, not in France), a mix between drama and psychological thriller, with a little touch of erotism because, hey that’s Misty and it’s distributed by E.I. Independent Cinema, so you have to satisfy the audience. And in fact, after only one little scene of 2 minutes and some music, I knew Sinful was going to be a film I couldn’t hate. Misty Mundae is here a young married woman and she’s not really happy with her relationship. She’s even jealous from the life of her neighbors, and she can hear her in the evening through the wall (thin wall) when they are… well, you know! But our Misty, named Lilith, is slightly paranoid and slightly crazy. So when her neighbor Aisha tells her that she’s expecting a baby, Lilith becomes even more crazy, more jealous and her reality will crash into a nightmare.
And for a film of 73 minutes made in only 5 little days, well Sinful is not that bad. Not bad at all even. The habitual erotism from that kind of production is really in the background and not that important, except for a small scene in the beginning, the cinematography is clean except maybe a few unnatural filters added in post production, and the four main actors deliver an excellent work, especially Misty Mundae who surprises the audience (or at least me), going from a broken girl to a crazy girl, crying, ready to kill to fulfill her dream, that is to have a child. The script, even if its basic and takes its time, doesn’t have inconsistent plot or mistakes, it’s very pleasant to follow the story, even if it’s sometimes predictable. It even has a few fun stuff without warning. Like, during a dinner between neighbors where the tension starts to rise and the couple asks Lilith what she thinks is missing to her own couple, she won’t hesitate and simply answers « a hard cock » in front of her boyfriend. And as the atmosphere becomes lighter, the film breaks the boundary between dreams and reality. Or rather nightmare and reality.
And it delivers a few nice moments, and doesn’t hesitate, despite its very small budget, to fully go in some directions and ideas and to offer us some bloody moments, not grotesque or very visual, but aiming point that hurts. Similarly, Lilith’s shift into madness works pretty well, losing herself first in her private life, then at the doctor’s, and even at work. Everything works, following a predictable but natural progress. But from time to time, Sinful also leaves a strange sensation, and I’m not sure if it was intentional or not. I’m talking here about the editing of the film. Sometimes, it has some excellent ideas that energize the scene or sow a doubt, and the moment right after, the editing is more hesitant, more brutal. Brutal to the point of surprising. Failure, strange will, or just not enough time or not enough shots? I don’t know, probably never will. But that didn’t spoil the screening of the film, which is certainly not a great film, but given the few expectations I had, it’s still a pleasant surprise. And that’s why sometimes it’s good to watch low budget little indie films, to be pleasantly surprised!
Pretty well done
Some nice ideas
Sometimes weird in a good way
Misty Mundae, cute, surprising and, well just good
Sometimes weird in a bad way
The editing is not perfect
So: Sinful is a little psychological thriller, and a nice one even if it’s not perfect, and it’s pretty short (73 minutes).