Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Berberian Sound Studio (2012)


Director: Peter Strickland

Writer: Peter Strickland (Screenplay)

Starring: Toby Jones, Cosimo Fusco, Antonio Mancino, Fatma Mohamed, Salvatore LI Causi, Chiara D’Anna, Tonia Sotiropoulou, Eugenia Caruso


Plot: A sound engineer’s work for an Italian horror studio becomes a terrifying case of life imitating art.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: It’s What You Don’t See


Story: Berberian Sound Studio starts by Gilderoy (Jones) arriving in Italy to help Francesco Coraggio (Fusco) a producer with the final sound elements of his latest film. Gilderoy gets a sudden shock when he finds out that the film he has been asked to work on is a horror film though the director Giancarlo Santini (Mancino) refuses to call it a horror, this is something Gilderoy isn’t used to working on. We see an instant cultural difference between Gilderoy and the Italian production team.

Gilderoy starts to work his magic even if he is starting to get disturbed by the film he is watching. Trying to escape from the film, we watch how the director tries to explain the motives behind the film even though Gilderoy starts to feel alienated by the rest of the studios team. We start to see a change in Gilderoy as he starts to get stuck between what is real and what is part of his imagination. The question remains can he finish the film and give it the sound effects it requires before he completely loses his mind.

Berberian Sound Studio is a film that the people who have seen it talk about highly but not enough people saw it first time around. The story is very easy to follow as we get to see how effects were achieved in film during the 1970s. The biggest positive I can give this film is that you simply don’t see what Gilderoy is trying to put sound too, making you actually have to think about what could be happening on screen to require the sound effects being created. The negative would have to be for the casual fans that will have to do a lot of reading, taking the attention away from the film itself. I do think this is something very unique in the film world and really does make you think while watching it. (7/10)


Actor Review


Toby Jones: Gilderoy our English sound mixer who gets bought into an Italian horror film, a type of film he has never worked on and as the work continues he starts to slow change becoming slowly obsessed and paranoid about what is real and what is film. Toby gives a great performance as we see his character go from shy at the start and transforms into what he becomes. (9/10)


Cosimo Fusco: Francesco Coraggio the producer of the film who has to keep everything together while he is looking for the perfect film to give his audience. Cosimo does a good job in the supporting role playing the producer who gets what he wants. (7/10)


Support Cast: Berberian Sound Studio supporting cast includes the rest of the crew who all have their own way of doing things, the voice actors who get pushed to the limits by what is going on. Both sets help Gilderoy start to lose his mind in his work.


Director Review: Peter Strickland – Peter does a good job directing making us think about what is going on rather than just spoon feeding us the story. (8/10)


Drama: Berberian Sound Studio uses the drama elements to show how the mind can be twisted when it is pushed too far. (7/10)

Horror: Berberian Sound Studio has a horror theme with the film that we watch getting its sound mixed and we see how the sound effects would have been added to some of the classic films of the past. (8/10)

Thriller: Berberian Sound Studio does make you wonder what is going on as certain things seem out of place early on during the film giving us a curious decision to stay until the end. (8/10)

Settings: Berberian Sound Studio keeps nearly all the film in and around the studio with each scene being used to add a sound to the film inside the film. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Berberian Sound Studio really should get a mark on sound effects, because what we hear is what this film is really all about. (7/10)

Suggestion: Berberian Sound Studio is one to try I do think the casual fan will find it harder to watch but a true film fan will enjoy what is unfolding in front of them. (Try It)


Best Part: Making you think.

Worst Part: Slow starting


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Won 17 awards across the independent scene as well as being nominated for a further 11.

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes


Overall: This is a film you won’t have seen before and something all horrors fans should see just to see how the sounds of the classics were made.


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