Sound of Violence is available to rent or buy.
Sound has always been instrumental in horror. Some of our scariest memories come from hearing something at night. Was that a window breaking? Is someone walking up the stairs? Sound is the backbone of terror, from the noise of Michael Myers gruesomely butchering sexed-up teens to the eerie creaks and groans of a haunted house. Over the years, many horrors have found success by adopting a sonic focus, from The Birds to A Quiet Place, The Exorcist and Hush; In Sound of Violence, director Alex Noyer cranks the amp to 11.
Alexis (Jasmin Savoy Brown) is a musical artist with synaesthesia who experiences pleasure through sound. But for Alexis, these sounds happen to be blood splatters, screams, and heartbeats slowly fading away. Alexis is intentionally complex, as Noyer leaves the door open to whether Alexis is attempting to re-enact her childhood trauma or simply seeks a sadistic thrill that invigorates. She is a troubling character who carries a down-to-earth, compassionate guise that hides far more deadly intentions, like one of those seven murderers we all walk past at some point during our lives. Alexis cannot be perceived as one person but as a fractured soul – like notes on a sheet, all with different personalities and intentions. It’s here where Jasmin Savoy Brown’s complex performance is utterly riveting and terrifying.
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There is a Saw-like level of creativity to the elaborate traps Alexis creates to capture her sounds. Here she is a conductor of cruelty, a musical maestro of murder. In one instance, she constructs a mechanical chair with multiple deadly attachments linked to a sample pad. As we watch in sheer terror, Alexis gleefully taps away whilst a homeless man is ripped apart, a scene made even worse by the plethora of sounds Noyer introduces, from stabs to screeching cries and whirring mechanisms.
The fact that this is only the first kill makes you even more nervous about what Alexis has planned to complete her album of atrocity. It’s an approach to horror that’s visceral not in its visuals but in its soundscape – that’s where the true creative spark of Sound of Violence lies. It’s vicious and unrelenting, with your mind automatically filling in the visual gaps, creating your own horror using Noyer’s sounds.
Sound of Violence represents how bold creativity is the lynchpin to the continuation of slashers – the days of the masked murderer now firmly behind us. It’s about finding new ways to scare, discomfort and disgust. Noyer reinterprets the slasher in Sound of Violence with an incredibly original story and a complex and deadly conductor of gore.