**Disclaimer Warning: Contains Some Spoilers**
An unhinged metal musician lures his band-mate and an unsuspecting young woman to a remote luxurious mansion for a night that’s set to spiral out of control in Eric Pennycoff’s (ABCs of Death 2.5) Sadistic Intentions.
Beginning with a murder, it’s apparent that the elusive Kevin (Michael Patrick Nicholson) has committed a heinous crime but that does not stop him from roping his so-called friends, struggling musician, Stu (Jeremy Gardner) and cash-strapped Chloe (Taylor Zaudtke) into his sickening mind games.
Once they arrive at the unfamiliar location, Stu and Chloe get to know each other for quite a large chunk of the film. He tries to teach her to scream, “metal-style” while she remains bemused that Stu is reluctant to dance with her. Soon, Stu develops a crush on Chloe, placing the mockers on Kevin’s deranged plan. All hell breaks loose once Kevin makes his long-awaited appearance unapologetically putting his friends in extreme danger.
Sadistic Intentions is quite frankly bizarre. The pacing is uneven, there’s the vague set up at the beginning then most of the film fixates on Stu and Chloe just talking to each other, staying in their situation for the hell of it when they could just leave. The pair lack any real chemistry and there isn’t enough character development to warrant any kind of investment in them. Kevin shows up towards the end, some Horror-Esque type shenanigans ensue, then the film is practically over in an expected and predictable way.
There’s a promising idea amidst all the bafflement however it isn’t executed entirely well. It is unclear what kind of film it wants to be, and barely offers any explanation for the motivations of the characters. The script, the direction, and the acting all feels kind of hollow. Pennycoff attempts an experimental visual style at the beginning to build-up some intrigue, with jarring close- up shots of objects while keeping human appearance to a minimum, withholding Kevin’s reveal until the climax. Potentially, this unusual choice of compositions was inspired by the true-crime genre or possibly Giallo but without the lavish, indulgent imagery.
Sadistic Intentions lacks any real drive and projects a sense of indifference for the scenario and characters at hand.
While for me, the only thing sadistic about Sadistic Intentions was getting through viewing it, it will certainly find an audience who can appreciate it.