SOUND OF VIOLENCE (REVIEW)
Dir. Alex Noyer
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
SAW meets WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS as a deaf young woman learns of a pleasure she can only see when the sounds are sourced from violence. Unfortunately for Alexis, the quest to finally feel something so warming is through the pain of others and what starts of as small experiments culminate in genuine terror for those closest to her.
What Alex Noyer achieves through SOUND OF VIOLENCE is a horror classic that catches the tones of everything that make a great horror movie. A sensitive and somewhat relatable victim fighting against urges and society but ultimately succumbing to them to disastrous effect. We learn early on about Alexis' visions but are jump started 20 years later to an older Alexis who has evidently followed in the quest to feel that traumatic yet euphoric sensation again.
The violence is certainly present with body traps built to stimulate the music and there's no lack of invention from the music student, the film lacks any depth into how we get there but instead showcases the damage these instruments can do. An electric drum pad and a harp will never be seen the same way again!
Noyer's horror debut presents is a stroke of originality that is hard to find in a genre that has shown it all. At times, SOUND OF VIOLENCE is a bittersweet coming of age drama but at its hardest, it's full pelt pedal to the metal horror as she finds more unique ways to meld music and murder. There are questions around how such a young head could create some of the films more intricate devices but there is no denying there is a magic to watching them play out, Alexis could well be Jigsaw's protégé. In Jasmin Savoy Brown a star truly is born as she provides a sincere reality to a sad realisation of a lifelong of deafness and a love of music which will subsequently be lost, in her quest to feel the sounds, it's grasping at the last moments of hope even if it does come at a much more sinister cost and it's this relatability which carries the film. What could have been AMERICAN PSYCHO is instead much melancholier than anything Jason Bateman’s psycho can bring and as such resonates much more emotion than just terror, although it carries a lot of that too.
The supporting cast add to the emotional drive with the ambiguous relationship between Alexis and Marie (played brilliantly by Lili Simmons) being one of the big pulling factors to the films shocking finale. While Alexis falls deeper into her own search, Marie is there to pick her up and as the fall further apart, Alexis finds a way to keep them together even if it falls against her will.
The visual effects are simple but effective and really bring to life Alexis' feeling when she gets her rush. Accompanied by a killer (pun intended) soundtrack, SOUND OF VIOLENCE is a beast of its own that brings a sense of ingenuity to the genre. Strangely it's not the first music-based horror shown at this year’s FrightFest and like BLOODTHIRSTY, this really carries its own song and screams it out loud.