‘If you hear it you’re already dead’
The Sound – aka Paranormal: White Noise – is a 2017 Canadian horror feature film written, co-produced and directed by Jenna Mattison (writer of Deadly Revenge), making her directorial debut. The movie stars Rose McGowan, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Eklund, Richard Gunn and Stephen McHattie.
Kelly (Rose McGowan) is a writer and a skeptic of the supernatural. As a specialist in acoustic physics she uses low frequency tactile sound-waves to debunk reported paranormal activities for her online blog.
When presented a new case of a supposedly haunted subway station Kelly sets off to uncover the truth behind the hoax that involves a forty year-old unexplained suicide. Her investigation takes her deep into the abandoned station where her skepticism is tested.
As Kelly ascends into the depths of the metro’s darkness she is confronted by an unforeseen evil. In the vastness, she must face her own haunted memories to find the truth and surface back into the light…
“It’s a modern ghost story, but The Sound, while fighting to be relevant to a younger generation of moviegoer, doesn’t offer much in the way of suspense […] It’s not a completely ineffective effort, but Mattison’s attempting a different route to chills, and it doesn’t work, especially when there’s 90 minutes of screen time to fill.” Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com review
” …The Sound loads for bear with well-worn tropes like a dirty children’s doll as a memory-sparking touchstone, flashbacks revealing an identity crisis, and an abandoned asylum. Hitch that wagon to a bizarrely unsteady camera […], bland production design, and an even blander story, one wonders exactly where an audience is meant to find entertainment value.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt review
“Naturally, a lot of work has been put into the sound design, and this builds an initially impressive atmosphere, but it’s a device that can only be sustained for so long. Only rarely does it attempt to do more than simply intimidate, linking audio themes with narrative ones. Being underground, the film is dimly lit, so we spend an awful lot of time watching McGowan wander around…” Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film review
“The cool thing about The Sound is that it takes a credible shot at fusing technology with the supernatural. Instead of being part of the logical scientific explanation, the ultra-low frequency sound waves might just an indicator of uncanny juju afoot. Plus, the station itself and the warren of support tunnels are massively creepy.” Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins review
“The Sound takes some third-act turns toward woo-woo spirituality, which come across as fairly abrupt — in large part because the plot’s too paltry to pay that off. The movie mostly consists of Kelly creeping through dimly lighted tunnels, spotting apparitions whenever the light flickers. But McGowan is excellent…” Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times review
“The movie is clearer on the potentially supernatural stuff (The station was built on a common grave) than it is on what ultimately matters. One can sense a decent enough story in either of these threads—a simple and spooky tour of a haunted subway or a study of repressed trauma. The Sound, though, tries for too much with too little.” Mark Dujsik, Mark’s Movie Reviews
” …everyone delivers their lines like they’re The Most Important Lines In The Movie. Not quite the William Shatner School of Acting, but close enough that he could probably sue for copyright infringement. While I do love a good pseudo-science and I’m always looking to promote more women writers and/or directors in the male-dominated horror genre, I gotta say stay away from this one.” Scariest Things review
“The Sound has good ideas and a strong performance from McGowan but is nothing like the bombastic, jump scare-filled horror films stuffed in the genre, this a dark, psychological test of patience that trades traditional horror momentum for quiet hallucinatory breakdown. That’s not a bad thing. It simply lacks the larger punch.” David Duprey, That Moment In review
“The plot is just too simple, to be entertaining. Meanwhile, long time horror viewers will not be scared by this production. There is very little conflict and surprisingly very little character interaction. A bit of supernatural interplay (or Kelly’s unwinding) does enter near the finale. Meanwhile, Kelly only talks with a few imaginary characters.” Michael Allen, 28 Days Later Analysis review
” …The Sound is little more than a joyless exercise in tedium. While the strong central cast obviously doesn’t hurt, none of them are able to breathe life into proceedings. The burden largely falls on McGowan’s shoulders as she’s on screen pretty much constantly, all alone much of the time – and Mattison’s script barely gives her anything interesting to work with.” Ben Bussey, Warped Perspective review
- Rose McGowan … Kelly Johansen – Planet Terror; Scream (1996)
- Christopher Lloyd … Clinton Jones – Cold Moon; I Am Not a Serial Killer; Piranha 3D and 3DD; The Addams Family; et al
- Michael Eklund … Detective Richards – West of Hell; Bates Motel TV series; See No Evil 2; Nurse 3D
- Richard Gunn … Ethan
- Stephen McHattie … Earl – Z; Come to Daddy; Awakening the Zodiac; The Dark Stranger; Wolves; Hellmouth; et al
- Nicholas Campbell … Taxi Driver #1
- Pat Mastroianni … Taxi Driver #2
- Jane Moffat … Kelly’s Mother
- Alex Braunstein … Boy in Subway
- Joel Keller … Officer Simmons
- Troy Michael Claymore … Evan (as Troy Michael Clayborn)
- Ella Hollidge … Little Girl
- Faye Lavin … Nurse
- Michael Giel … Kidnapper
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The film’s working title was Lower Bay
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