New from Jonita Davis on The Black Cape: SXSW Review: Sound of Violence

By Avia Knighten

In his feature film directorial debut, Alex Noyer’s The Sound of Violence offers an interesting take on a potentially tragic story. It’s a horror film that follows a young woman who is traumatized by her past, as she deals with it in a very unique and disturbing way.

Alexis (Jasmin Savoy Brown) is a mix of a diabolical conductor and the victim in The Sound of Violence. She battles a demonic form of “synesthesia”, which is a condition that enables her to physically see colors.  But, she can only do this when she kills others–whether it was accidental or not. Alexis struggles to find a connection between the sounds and why she is attracted to them.

Flashback to a 10-year-old Alexis (Kamia Benge) who is deaf after an accident. She witnesses her mother’s brutal murder at the hands of her father, a war veteran suffering from PTSD. Frightened, Alexis kills her father. She is able to hear again and gives a sinister laugh as she also begins to see colors upon hearing her father’s last breath.

As a young woman, Alexis is now a music composition student who works on an experiment on unusual sounds with the assistance of her best friend and roommate Marie (Lili Simmons). They go to a dominatrix’s home to record the sounds when the woman pushes the audio and her clients to the limit. Alexis’s hearing begins to deteriorate. As she walks home one night, there is a man who is aggressive with her. When she pushes the man away into the street, he gets hit by a truck and her hearing is restored.

Alexis lures a homeless man from an alley to her garage and straps him to a homemade torture device that is linked to a beat-making machine that she plays with as she kills him. Alexis proceeds to hire a man named Jared to sing in the studio as part of her experiment. Little does he know that when she straps him to a machine, she forces him to mimic the sound she makes until he explodes. She even sabotages a harpist as she drugs her and manipulates the strings so that when the harpist plays, her hands will severely bleed. This happens at an art gallery that Marie and her boyfriend, Duke (James Jagger) visit. Duke spots Alexis as they assist with the harpist.

Meanwhile, she is hunted by detective Sonya Fuentes (Tessa Munro), as Alexis becomes more careless at each murder scene. Meanwhile, Alexis is jealous of Duke but has kept a cool head about it. When Duke goes to talk to Alexis about what happened at the art gallery, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Marie goes to confront Alexis after listening to some disturbing sounds on Alexis’s iPod. Alexis assures her that everything is fine, they even kiss. However, Marie sees a trail of blood and finds Duke dead, which leads to Alexis revealing her true intentions. Marie becomes the final part of her sound experiment. We see Marie as she walks down the beach with speakers surgically implanted in her body.  Alexis plays a horrific mix of all the sounds she has been recording.

To Alexis, the only way to improve her hearing is by hearing those dreadful sounds and inciting violence. She gets literal goosebumps from hearing them. They give her pleasure. The audio plays a major part in this film, from hearing every single amplified detail to not hearing anything at all.

Savoy gives a layered breakout performance as she toes the line between sane, obsessive, and devious. The cinematography by Daphne Qin Wuby is so immersive and the visual of these vibrant colors allows the audience to see the sounds the way that Alexis sees them. Noyer created a unique and original slasher film with “The Sound of Violence”.

Rating 3.5 of 5

The post SXSW Review: Sound of Violence appeared first on The Black Cape Magazine.

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