Tom Humberstone


horror month - day 27

Berberian Sound Studio (2013)

"Just think of it like your microphones. Each one has a name and you remember."

Quick summary: Sound engineer Gilderoy is hired by an Italian production company to sound mix The Equestrian Vortex - a disturbing horror film in the Giallo tradition.

Always good to see a film where Toby Jones is front and centre.

As you'd expect from a film all about sound, the sound design on this is brilliantly effective and creates a real sense of tension. The only time we ever see The Equestrian Vortex is in the opening credit sequence (accompanied by a Goblin-esque score) and some audition scenes - otherwise, we only ever hear it. Which is all the more unsettling. I can definitely see why director Peter Strickland has been tasked with bringing The Stone Tape to Radio 4 this month. He clearly has a love of the craft of sound engineering.

It's a lot of fun seeing all the foley work with vegetables and random props. Even that, eventually starts to become increasingly disturbing as the film progresses.

The second half of the film has a very Lynchian flavour to it. I've also seen comparisons to Inferno and Dream of the Mad Monkey - both of which I've not yet seen but will make sure I do.

I can imagine the ambiguity and lack of linear sense or answers at the end of the film would frustrate some, but I really liked the strange, meta, summoning ritual that seemed to be taking place.

Tonight: Bit of zombie action with The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (1974).