If you’re suffering from insomnia then just put on director Alessandro Perrella’s Sinner aka Night of the Sinner and you’ll be asleep in no time at all. A dull, confusing, and unsatisfying watch that only has a characteristically good performance from Robert Englund to make it worth talking about.
He plays The Prince, a rich, ill, and eccentric man who wants to preserve his family legacy. So, he has hired insurance agent Rebecca (Ivana Miño) to come to his stately home in Italy to evaluate his collection of rare books. There, Rebecca meets the cold and unfriendly governess (Giannina Salvetti), and The Prince’s mute son, David (Òscar Jarque).
After getting to know David (sort of) and noticing some strange things within the house, Rebecca starts to dig around. Discovering that The Prince and his family have a very dark past and that she may not get out of this house alive.
It would be nice if Sinner bothered to tell this story in a more coherent or sensible way, but it doesn’t. Maybe it’s an editing issue more than a story-telling issue, but this movie is all over the place. It makes it very hard to follow along. Yet, it’s how boring it is, that really hurts it.
At first, it seems to be taking on the form of a Giallo, especially being an Italian film, but that promptly disappears as the movie slowly grinds to a halt. For large swathes, there’s next to no horror. Which would be fine if the mystery that Rebecca is trying to uncover was in anyway engaging. It’s extremely obvious the direction it is going on, and its attempts to subvert, only end up making the whole thing more confusing overall.
Rebecca is not an interesting character to watch either, and thanks to the patchy editing, we learn nothing about her at all. Likewise, her relationship with David is rushed. The film acting like they’ve had meaningful interactions when only a handful of scenes are seen, and most of them involve her asking him questions and not getting any kind of a response.
The only reason to check out this miserable excuse for a horror movie is to see a less commonly known Robert Englund movie. Even if his evil turn in the latter portion of the movie is par for the course for the man. Regardless, he is always a delight and is certainly trying to squeeze something out of this role.
The Final Score - 4/10