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Saturday, December 28, 2019

Review: No Sin Unpunished

Director: Matt Green
Screenplay: John Farris
Year: 2020

What happens after death is a mystery that still eludes us. Different religions and beliefs have worked into trying to come up with an explanation, but without tangible evidence, leaving us in the same place. Beyond individual beliefs, this is a topic that continuously roams around horror cinema because of its mysterious nature and the opportunities it gives inside this genre. 

Taryn is a young adult trying to recompose her life after a tormenting past. There are people that don’t want the truth about what she went through to come out, which ends up in Taryn being murdered. Now, the people around her must find out the truth about what happened between her and her aggressor so that her soul may rest in peace. 

The opening scene that director Matt Green (“Slaw”) presents is a sequence that seems to be taken out of a ’70s grindhouse movie. In it we see two young women being followed by a violent hillbilly that is reminiscent of Jason Vorhees from “Friday the 13th” that makes you wonder if you are watching the right movie (or at least that was my reaction). After a few minutes, we see that this is part of a movie that Taryn (Amber Erwin; “The Final Project”), the protagonist, and her friend Megan (Krissy Notes; “Born River Bye”) are watching, which serves as an homage to horror cinema and as a meta-reference for horror movie fans.

After this scene, we keep getting to know the protagonists until Taryn’s violent murder gives way to the real plot of the movie, where the attention goes out to Hero (Jonathan Horne; “Bound”).In the scene where the murder plays out, the good quality of the practical effects and makeup is evident and this is kept up for the rest of the movie where there are violent incidents. Once Taryn’s spirit starts appearing before her close ones, it is surprising that they also did a good job on the special effects, particularly for a movie with such a low budget.

The script, written by John Farris, who had not written a script for a full-length feature since “Dear Dead Delilah” in 1972, is where “No Sin Unpunished” has some issues. While the character development, conflicts, and dialogues are well done, there are too many plot holes that are hard to ignore. On top of that, there are also several editing errors that affect the logical progression of the actions, as repeated shots.

“No Sin Unpunished” doesn't propose anything too novel, but it does know how to use its budget to give way to an enjoyable supernatural story. The visual effects and the acting are its biggest strengths contrasted by the plot holes and faulty editing. If you can put aside those problems, it is an entertaining story that independent horror movie fans will surely enjoy.

“No Sin Unpunished” is distributed by Monarch Home Entertainment and will be available on DVD on January 21, 2020. For more information visit their webpage.

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