Despite its unique premise and interesting kill sequences, horror music thriller Sound of Violence doesn’t manage to hit every note.
I was provided with a free screener of Sound of Violence for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.
This review of Sound of Violence contains spoilers. Proceed with caution.
The cleverly titled Sound of Violence is a slasher horror thriller that combines music and violence. As a child, Alexis (Kamia Benge) regains her ability to hear after witnessing the gruesome murder of her mother at the hands of her father and her subsequent murder of her father. A mixture of beautiful colors mixes with the sound and provides Alexis and the audience with a euphoric rush that she is desperate to experience over and over again.
As an adult, Alexis (Jasmin Savoy Brown) finds unique ways to murder victims in order to experience the sensation that the violence brings and uses results in the creation of her own music. Meanwhile, Alexis is drawn closer to her roommate Marie (Lili Simmons) and quickly grows jealous of her new boyfriend Duke (James Jagger) as a detective (Tessa Munro) grows hot on her trail.
The movie centers around a series of musically-themed kills, ranging from an elaborate drum machine to a harp whose strings are modified to cut the performer’s fingers. Fans of bloody violence and torture sequences will enjoy the creative kills as Alexis toys with her victims. The effect of the combination of color and sound that Alexis enjoys as she kills her victims is well done and adds to the sequences.
Actress Jasmin Savoy Brown shines as Alexis and her performance adds a layer of depth to the character that helps the audience understand her trauma and her actions to a certain extent. Alexis’ chemistry with Marie is also solid and helps anchor Alexis as a character, up until Marie becomes Alexis’ final victim. While it is exciting to see more LGBTQ+ characters on screen, particularly characters of color, Alexis and Marie’s flirtation and Alexis’ eventual murder of Marie is not for those hoping for positive representation.
While Alexis is a very capable killer, the fact that her murders become more public and easily traced as the movie goes on makes her seem extremely careless. The inclusion of the kills in her music shows her depravity, and one amusing sequence shows her classmates being horrified at the music she plays for them. However, playing the music so openly and using school equipment for her kills makes it much easier for the detective to find her. It is later established that Alexis has been doing this since her childhood, and it raises questions of how she’s been able to go on for so long without being caught.
The movie culminates in a final gruesome sequence where Marie, having stereo speakers surgically interlaced into her body, walks on a crowded beach as she takes her last breaths in the detective’s arms. The shock and disgust of the bystanders really add to the horror of the moment. Alexis walks away from the scene without detection, and the audience is left to wonder what will become of her now that she is on the run. In The Geekiary’s interview, writer and director Alex Noyer shared that there were potential kill sequences devised for this movie that did not make the final cut. It remains to be seen if there will be more kills orchestrated by Alexis on screen in the future.
People who are looking for a positive representation of queer women of color in horror should not expect to find it in Sound of Violence. However, if you’re willing to look past that and some confusing narrative choices, fans of horror and the idea of musically-themed killing contraptions will find many sequences they will enjoy. The movie’s ending is left somewhat open-ended, so there is potential for more kills in Alexis’ future.
Sound of Violence will be available on VOD platforms beginning May 21.
Author: Jessica Wolff
Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.
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