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[SXSW '21] 'Sound of Violence' review: The sound that murdered love

Movie Reviews

[SXSW ’21] ‘Sound of Violence’ review: The sound that murdered love

Song for whoever.

Sound of Violence is a unique horror movie filled with interesting dynamics. The film follows Alexis (Jasmin Savoy Brown) who recovered her hearing as a child after witnessing a brutal family tragedy. Now an adult, she teaches music and works with experimental sounds. When she discovers she may be losing her hearing again, she realizes only the most brutal sounds may be able to help her.

The premise puts the audience in a unique position. In the opening moments, it is revealed that when she was a kid, Alexis watched a savage event unfold before her eyes. Sound of Violence makes her the sympathetic victim. More than that, she overcame what happened and is working in what she loves. There is a feel good aspect built into her story.

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Sound of Violence is also the story of an artist. What Alexis does may be unconventional, but this can be said about many of  history’s greatest composers and painters. That being said, there is a dark side to what she is doing. This is not just an artist going against the norm to perfect their masterpiece; this is a someone who is intentionally harming others.

sound of violence

It is not just Alexis who is a multi layered character. Duke (James Jagger) seems like he will be a standard horror movie character: the slimy douchebag who ends up getting their just desserts. Instead, there is nothing generic about Duke. He is something of a lightning rod for contention, but it is unintentional. Much like Alexis, there are qualities about him that audiences will like and dislike.

The actual story will elicit as many questions. Sound of Violence may seem straight and to the point in regards to the action. Alexis commits violent acts as a form of self healing. But the motivations run deeper than that. Questions of repressed trauma, the relationship between art and the artist, and love and friendship are all part of the film. There are some missteps along the way, but it is definitely worth watching.

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