Berberian Sound Studio
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Berberian Sound Studio
In the 1970s, a British sound technician is brought to Italy to work on the sound effects for a gruesome horror film. His nightmarish task slowly takes over his psyche, driving him to confront his own past. Berberian Sound Studio is many things: an anti-horror film, a stylistic tour de force, and a dream of cinema. As such, it offers a kind of pleasure that is rare in films, while recreating in a highly original way the pleasures of Italian horror cinema. (c) IFC

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"While it's a loving homage to movies like Dario Argento's Suspiria and is crafted with tons of style, it leaves out one key ingredient: being even remotely scary."
‑ Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
"A sometimes interesting, sometimes head-scratching movie that pays homage to the old ways of the sound mixing world and to the "giallo" genre of horror that was prominent in Italy during the 1970s."
‑ David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
"If you're open to films that fearlessly twist the conventions, and that mine the language of sound and image for their own strange potential, you'll get a kick from this rivetingly inventive, abrasively un-British piece of nightmare cinema."
‑ Jonathan Romney, Independent
"A movie that may whisper dark secrets into your ears at night, when you're trying to forget it."
‑ John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
"Ultimately, Berberian Sound Studio is just an exercise in meta -- a movie more about generating sensations than making sense -- but it's provocative and effective in the way it shows how a movie doesn't have to be "real" to be disturbing."
‑ Noel Murray, The Dissolve
"Radishes, cabbages and melons meet horrific ends in Berberian Sound Studio, a down-the-earhole psychodrama where what you hear is more terrifying than what you see."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"[It] not only exploits one of cinema's most important modes, it also attempts something more difficult: turning a genre movie into a work of art."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Globe
"Berberian Sound Studio refuses such a climax: it at once celebrates giallo and takes it apart, disassembling it like Derren Brown explaining an illusion."
‑ Sam Davies, Sight and Sound
"...stylishly creepy psycho-thriller that pays homage to the Italian horror scene of the '70s."
‑ Steve Newton, Georgia Straight
"Berberian Sound Studio is a film for critics. General public -- come at your own risk."
‑ Tony Macklin,
"Writer/director Peter Strickland intriguingly weaves into the story a movie-within-a-movie that we barely see, but we hear."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"A one-trick pony, but it's a reasonably cool trick."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"This twisty psychological horror yarn from writer/director Peter Strickland is the best kind, one that is open to many interpretations but can be enjoyed on its own creepy and insinuating surface."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"For much of British director Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio, not much actually happens. But for the devoted cinephile, it's utterly entrancing."
‑ T'Cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette
"It messes with your head in ways that is impressive, but it also seems too abstract for its own good at times. Its unsettling atmosphere and strong performances make Berberian Sound Studio one of the more distinct psychological thrillers out there."
‑ Chris Sawin,
More reviews for Berberian Sound Studio on Rotten Tomatoes