Sociopathia follows Mara (Tammy Jean), a young, horror-specific special effects artist. The film documents her struggle between living a normal life with love and affection and her darker side, which is plagued by homicidal desires.
She can only fulfil her sinister urges by killing and then making the corpses her dolls, her forever friends. But when Mara’s dolls begin to fight back and her girlfriend Kat demands all of her attention, Mara begins to mentally unravel.
Sociopathia is deeply disturbing and unnerving, but it’s also an amazing and thoroughly enjoyable thrill ride. From the opening scenes to the closing credits, Mara’s character development cuts the fat of superficial dialogue in favor of scenes revealing her sordid past.
Instead of diving into unnecessarily long scenes featuring random acts of violence, Sociopathia presents scenes that say much more without forced dialogue or oddly-placed flashbacks.
When Kat (Asta Parades) is introduced as Mara’s love interest, everything starts to get complicated. Not only does the viewer begin to see that Mara has two selves, the murdering one and the sweet one, the internal struggle is brilliantly portrayed with Mara being visibly different depending on what is happening.
For example, when Mara is with Kat she avoids eye contact and frequently shrugs, but when Mara gives into her violent, homicidal urges, her demeanor and facial expressions are completely different. This not only gives the viewer visual clues, but also shows the versatility of Tammy Jean as an actress.
Because the two selves are so different, it is hard to believe they are two sides to the same person. Sociopathia does an excellent job cultivating sympathy for sweet Mara, but denouncing Mara’s misdeeds at the same time. The climax is astounding as these two selves finally collide and combine in the best, most insane, way possible.
Although the blood splatter has a sort of cheesy look, due to being computer generated, that doesn’t take away from what is happening onscreen. Her actions are accompanied by cringe-worthy, realistic sounds of crushed bone and muscle tissue. In fact, the fake blood splatter is almost a relief, considering what is happening onscreen. And if it were actually one-hundred percent realistic; it would likely be too much.
The only real grip I have with Sociopathia is that there are a lack of scenes depicting Mara’s past. Had that been more of a focus, it would have given us a better idea of why she uses a certain methodology when she murders. When the viewer first sees Mara kill, it is obvious that she is not a rookie, so a lot of thought and dedication has gone into her crimes. Personally, I would have liked some more development into this aspect of the character.
Overall, Sociopathia is an excellent watch, impressive from start to finish. This movie would actually work quite well as a double feature with Maniac, which deals with similar issues from a male perspective.
WICKED RATING: [usr 6]
Director(s): Ruby Larocca, Rich Mallery
Writer(s): Ruby Larocca, Rich Mallery
Stars: Tammy Jean, Nicola Fiore, Asta Paredes
Release: Now available on DVD and VOD
Studio/ Production Co: Cinema Epoch
Length: 86 Minutes