LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 14:  Writer/creator Garth Ennis arrives for the Premiere Of AMC's "Preacher" held at Regal LA Live Stadium 14 on May 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
The Sadness Wanted To Take The Concept Of Garth Ennis' Crossed Even Further
Rob Jabbaz's 2021 horror film “The Sadness” is one of the most intense, most violent films in recent memory. It follows the pattern of traditional zombie films, in that a viral outbreak turns large portions of the population into mindless monsters, but in the case of “The Sadness,” people are turned into homicidal maniacs who become intensely driven by the evilest possible impulses.
Part of the inspiration behind the concept of “The Sadness” derived from comic writer Garth Ennis’ 2008 series “Crossed,” which similarly featured an infection that makes its victims follow their evilest impulses. In a 2021 interview with iHorror, Jabbaz noted that even though Ennis’ series inspired him, he wanted to alter the tone so that it didn't feel like just another knockoff.
Jabbaz was fascinated by the concept of rage that he saw in “Crossed.” He said, “[W]hat it actually is, is malice or intentional cruelty, and enjoying hurting people. [...] If you get attacked by an animal and you lose an eye, you can kind of get over that. But if you get jumped in an alley, and some guy is laughing while he carves your face up with a box cutter ... when you look in the mirror ... five years from then, it's gonna be a lot harder to kind of deal with, you know.”
Jabbaz liked Ennis' notion of human beings acting out their darkest impulses, but he became more fixated on the idea that all humans are chillingly capable of acting out those impulses. He concluded that “Crossed,” similar to “The Walking Dead,” is about becoming a horrible person as a survival trait, but he wanted to focus on the deep-seated rage and discontentment with society that a lot of people harbor.