Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
What's it about
After the death of his son, a tech support supervisor develops an acute sense of hearing and goes completely nutty.
Is it good movie?
What works about Brad Andersonís entry into the second Masters of Horror season is his ability to create stories. Anderson seems to never go for the quick scare, never for the cheap shock or a nonsensical murder. Instead, he creates characters and allows the horror to come from those characters. Just as he developed a paranoid world for his feature debut The Machinist, he sticks with that formula with Sounds Like. Here, the story centers on Larry (Chris Bauer), a man who after the death of his son suddenly discovers he possesses a superpower: acute hearing. Whatís great about Sounds Like is that Anderson doesnít sugar coat what this gift brings. Itís the realism. At first, this power ain't bad since he's a supervisor over tech support calls and now can hear everything with God-like abilities. His underlings are scared shitless. However, he soon discovers that he canít turn it off. Sounds increase tenfold. Raindrops kill against a windshield. Shut twitching eyelids sound like sandpaper. Food becomes disgusting. A finger tap becomes a jackhammer. Every minute detail and petty bad habit becomes the most annoying and deafening thing ever. Talk about paranoia.
Whatís also great is that Anderson uses this episode to address social issues. Like George A. Romero (ok, this isnít that good), Anderson comments on our infatuation with surrounding ourselves with noise. We block out the real world with TV, cell phones and music. We refuse to listen. Larry says: ďMost people are afraid to listen. They think if they do, theyíll hear whatís behind the noise. Silence. Silence scares them.Ē Compared with some of the other episodes, Sounds Like is one of the few that I felt could have been a complete film not found six months later in the Wal-Mart clearance bin. After The Machinist and now this, I hope Anderson continues to make intelligent films within an industry that desperately needs them. Hell, the horror genre needs a bit of it too.
Video / Audio
Sounds Like utilizes what Masters of Horror offers to director; complete freedom to unleash whatever they wish onto the public. Anderson succeeded with this one. Good fun.