Berberian Sound Studio (2012) Review for Halloween Horror Fest

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Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

Directed by Peter Strickland

Starring:
Toby Jones
Antonio Mancino
Fatma Mohamed
Tonia Sotiropoulou
Susanna Cappellaro
Cosimo Fusco
Suzy Kendall

Running time: 94 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film centres on the character of Gilderoy (Toby Jones), a British foley artist working on the audio track for an Italian giallo film, The Equestrian Vortex.

More plot synopsis via me:
This is his first time working on a horror film and as he sees the same horrific images over and over again while providing the sound effects, he starts to slowly lose his mind. Or does he? I don’t know. Does he?! Someone explain this movie to me!

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My Opinion:

Umm. Right. Okay.

This is the final film I watched for Halloween Horror Fest. Why couldn’t I finish on a simple one?! There’s a good review of this from Rhino’s Horror HERE. Maybe you should read that review instead because I don’t know what the hell was going on at the end of this film. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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So! I quite liked this movie at the start. I think I still liked it at the end, too. I loved the look & the feel of it as it’s set in the 1970s and the 70s were funky and people wore the coolest ugly clothes and had the coolest ugly wallpaper. It was all quite creepy and eerie and it was REALLY interesting watching the “behind the scenes” things that went into making old horror films (not that I can say how accurate it all was or wasn’t). Oh, and the sound and the soundtrack and all that was great. Which one would hope seeing as that’s kind of the point of the whole thing…

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I don’t have much experience with Italian horror films beyond Suspiria (which the film within this film is most likely trying to sound like if what I’ve read online is to be believed). I think anyone who loves those sort of films may at least find Berberian Sound Studio interesting. Or if you like the thought of watching someone make the sound effects for this sort of movie. Or if you like things a little David Lynch-like. I sort of felt the same way at the end of Berberian Sound Studio as I did while watching Mulholland Drive. As in “WTF is going on?”.

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This is a nice looking and very nice sounding artsy fartsy sort of film that someone like me probably just can’t fully appreciate. What I did love is that we never see the horror film in this film – we only hear it. That was great (and maybe a little brave). You still get a great sense of the horrific things that are happening in that film, though, and how difficult the Toby Jones character is finding it to have to keep watching these images. So this is a “no gore” movie (yay!) but still rated a 15 in the UK for the subject matter and some pretty descriptive stuff.

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So. Did I like this movie? I did sort of enjoy it, actually. It’s very slow and not too much happens until close to the end, when it goes a bit mental. This is when it lost me and I could spend hours on the message boards reading what people think was really going on. I used to do that. But then I got too old and too busy to do those sort of things. So if anyone wants to explain the end of the film to me in the comments below, feel free to do so! I’d rather do other things.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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11 thoughts on “Berberian Sound Studio (2012) Review for Halloween Horror Fest

  1. Pingback: Grabbers (2012) Review for Halloween Horror Fest | Cinema Parrot Disco

  2. What an absolute headfuck this one is! It looks fantastic and the editing is amazing, but it just goes totally mental in the final third, a bit too much for my liking actually. Unfortunately I can’t really shed any light on what the ending was about. What I took from it was that the film he was working on just sent him a bit insane, but I’m sure there are others who can read more into it than that! Great review!

    • Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah – I always think I should be looking for deeper meaning in things but there may be nothing there beyond him just losing his mind a bit. But I was mostly curious about the letters from his mother. Hmm. Not going to spend too much time thinking about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was entertaining enough anyway.

  3. I’ve avoided paying for this because everyone seems to have the same reaction – good but WHAT THE FUCK??? I’ll catch this sometime when it’s out there for free : )

    ( ! )

  4. I’d agree with your rating on this one. I watched it last year and as much as I enjoy a bit of Lynchian surrealism, this film was pale in comparison to his movies. All style and very little substance was how I walked away from it.

    • Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, all style and not much substance was how it SEEMED to me but I figured I was just too stupid to figure it all out. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Still an interesting watch, though – not one I regret seeing.

  5. I need to write this one up, but it totally lost me so I wasn’t really sure what to say except to echo what everyone else said…what the fuck???

    Seriously though, I really struggled with this one. It seemed like a case of style over substance to me.

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