Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Sound of Silence, Hello Darkness

This is another extremely zeitgeisty horror movie that the filmmakers probably did not realize was so zeitgeisty. In this film, talking can lead to death, so express yourself at your own peril, just like when you brave censoring tech companies and woke trolls on social media. Counterintuitively, this time around, it starts very analog, with an old fashioned “wireless”-style radio, which had all kinds of wires. Soon, noise in general becomes weaponized in the T3 directing trio’s Sound of Silence, which releases Thursday on VOD.

Back in Italy, Emma Wilson’s tinkering father comes across a vintage radio, but after he fires it up, all heck breaks loose. Her father is now in a coma and her mother is being held overnight, due to her defensive wounds. When Wilson’s arrives with her boyfriend Seba (for Sebastian), her mother begs them to book a hotel rather than go to the family home, but of course, she insists on staying there.

Shortly thereafter, the radio starts menacing her. In several scenes, a spectral woman appears and disappears, advancing towards Wilson, as she turns the wireless on and off. Soon, any noise is sufficient to trigger the audio specters. The evil force also infects Seba as it had her father. However, she has one recourse not available to most people—the soundproof studio her father built for her during her teen years.

The quiet fearful quaking stuff has been done before, but the neo-Giallo style adopted by T3 (Alessandro Antonaci, Daniel Lascar, and Stefano Mandala) serves it well. There are several genuine nailbiter scenes, especially the on-off sequences. Admittedly, the conclusion does not make much sense, but what do we really expect, anyway? The epilogue also seems almost completely unrelated, but it is also seriously creepy, so why not?

Sound of Silence
is the sort of film that makes it hard for cast-members to stand out and make an impression, but Penelope Sangiogi and Rocco Marazzita are relatively believable getting scared witless, in his case possessed, and generally run through the wringer. Yet, the design of the Wilsons’ family house is probably the film’s biggest star.

Sound of Silence
is basically a one-gimmick film, but T3 repeatedly executes that gimmick with sinister effectiveness. There are definitely precedents for its sonic scares, but it largely succeeds at what it sets out to do. Recommended for fans of Giallo and Euro supernatural horror, Sound of Silence releases Thursday (3/9) on VOD.