Director – Brad Anderson
Cast – Michael Dangerfield, Laura Margolis, Richard Kahan, David Pearson, David Lovgren, Chris Bauer, Matty Finochio
Release Year – 2006
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Brad Anderson has a name for himself with his great and very chilling directing jobs. His best works, Session 9 and The Machinist show that the guy has the goods to put forth great films and it makes sense he gave us an entry like this one. Sounds Like shows us amazing psychological horror in a form I had yet to see in this genre. Originality is key, and always respected.
This flick stars Michael Daingerfield as “Jim”, a father who recently lost his son and due to the emotional mayhem involved has suffered an increased ability to hear the slightest of sounds at heavy volumes. Nails tapping a desk sounds like a hammer to a wall, a fly moving its wings sounds like an airplane is above him. Each day this ability intensifies, leading Jim down a destructive path as he desperately searches for solutions to all of the noise around him.
I loved Brad Anderson’s direction in this one. His camera work, scene setting, and paranoia-induced atmosphere was masterfully done and aided a fine screenplay written by he himself as well. This flick is a simple one, and it allows the viewer to put themselves in Jim’s world and in his situation due to Anderson giving us front row seats to just how horrible Jim’s world is thanks to his hearing. Does the sound of construction next door annoy you? Imagine having to go through that sound everyday, no matter where you are, and of course…without a construction crew. It is pure madness, and I love it.
Jim’s descent into darkness was a nice one to watch. You feel the grief he still suffers due to the loss of his young son and see Jim head down a gradual spiral for the worst. His character changes, and although it is understandable and with the best intentions, he is slowly becoming a mess of a person. He goes through a series of somewhat drastic events to rid his environment of anything that makes a noise, and this only gets worse when he decides to leave a body in his path of destruction. Unfortunately for Jim, he is still able to hear the maggots feasting on the body. Yes, I smiled as I wrote that, it is THAT awesome.
I did not have any major complaints for this flick, I would just warn you that this flick is much like “Session 9” in that it does not show any outright horror until the last act of the film. Instead of bombarding us with horror it seems Brad Anderson loves to build it up slowly in forms of horror that some of us might not find so “horrific” because they are not outright scary, at first. Some may not find the unwelcome ability to hear the slightest of sounds at high decibel levels scary, but if I were to tell you that you are about to spend the rest of your life that way starting tomorrow…how would you feel? Exactly.
Overall, this is a good watch and a solid entry from writer/director Brad Anderson that gives us a sense of horror not before seen in the horror genre. Give this a watch if you would like to see an original story that can apply to everyone if they apply it to themselves.
– I ranked this film #11 out of the 26 entries in my Ranking the “Masters of Horror” Entries post.