Culture Magazine

Movie Review – Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

By Manofyesterday

Director: Peter Strickland

Stars: Toby Jones, Cosimo Fusco, Antonio Mancino, Fatma Mohamed, some other people blah.

Warning: This film contains disturbing imagery of violence against fruits and vegetables. It also may cause extreme boredom.

Oh boy. In Berberian Sound Studio, an English sound engineer (Toby Jones) is hired by an Italian studio to work on a film, which he doesn’t realize is actually a graphic horror film. Being in a foreign culture he is extremely awkward and soon inadvertently offends the producer (Fusco) and the director (Mancino). But as he views the material he begins to lose himself in it and eventually resorts to torture to get the appropriate sound effects.

Now, to me, that sounds pretty good. I was looking forward to seeing a depraved sound engineer torturing people in order to make his art the best it could be. However, this film is garbage. It’s a horror but there’s no tension, no creepiness and none of it is scary, it’s just boring. It feels like it’s taking itself way too seriously and at times it veers into pretentiousness.

I will say that I liked seeing the focus on sound, because I think it’s an underrated part of the film industry, but that’s about the only positive thing I can say about the film. There’s just nothing appealing or worthwhile here. It’s not entertaining in the slightest. I’m actually annoyed that I even watched it. It’s only a short film, about an hour and a half, and up until the hour mark there hadn’t been any torture! I feel this would have been much better had it actually embraced the horror aspect and not taken itself so seriously. As it is nothing really happens and all I can say is don’t watch it. There’s nothing here.

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