THE PLOT THUS FAR
Mild-mannered sound engineer Gilderoy (Toby Jones, The Hunger Games, Captain America) arrives in Rome to begin work on the soundtrack to a film called The Equestrian Vortex, a tale of witchcraft and murder set inside an all-girl riding academy. Before long he finds himself entranced by the film’s mysteriously terrifying allure, and the lines between reality and fantasy begin to blur. Now Gilderoy’s own mind has become the battleground between his horrifying delusions and his desperate grasp on the real world. Tense, claustrophobic, and featuring a tour-de-force performance by Jones, BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO is an electrifying portrayal of a man’s descent into the darkest pit of madness.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“Berberian Sound Studio” wants to be an Argento film so bad that it nearly cries Technicolor blood tear drops. This is a film about culture clash with a Brit abroad that can’t quite pin down what he wants. Working as a sound editor/foley artist for a rather graphic witchcraft laced horror tale, he starts to mistake fantasy for reality. The use of locations and tight corridors was quite intense, as we ventured further and further into a man losing his mind. I could’ve done without the extended looks into how the sound recording process works.
Toby Jones is a capable lead after years of being the go-to character actor for rotund & odd-looking men. But, this is a film that revels in its appraisal of contrast. Forcing an actor like Toby Jones to be the focus plays against the themes of the film. If you’re expecting a straight forward Giallo, then go dig up your copy of “Suspiria”. That’s not what is going on here and I’m glad for it. I would rather lie in the horror of the mind, then that of the moment.
The DVD comes with featurettes, deleted scenes, Box Hill documentary and trailers as the special features. The Dolby 5.1 track sets a stage, that helps to carry the film. I would’ve killed to have heard this in a DTS-HD master audio mix. But, the powers deemed that this indie film wasn’t worthy of a Blu-Ray release. If they only knew the cult following that this film has amassed in a short time, they wouldn’t leave this much money on the table. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: 12/10/2013