‘Sound of Violence’ wows with twisted horrors, stunning visuals

Noah Levine

This mixtape is killer.


“Sound of Violence” is a horror film that premiered at South by Southwest in the Midnighters category. The film follows a young adult named Alexis who is pursuing a career in music. After recovering from a traumatic event she faced as a child, Alexis has been chasing a sensory high that she only receives from the sound of violence. As her desires become more and more desperate, Alexis begins to do whatever it takes, even if it means murder.


Jasmin Savoy Brown is one of the main reasons why “Sound of Violence” works so well. Her performance as Alexis blurs the line between menacing killer and sympathetic protagonist. Brown’s gentle and caring portrayal makes it especially difficult to dislike such a twisted character. The way the film slowly leans into her darker side enables Alexis to exist as a charming character prior to her descent into terror. This results in a more complex approach and complicated depiction of an “evil” character.


The cinematography of “Sound of Violence” is slick and well-shot.  The moments of bliss Alexis experiences after hearing violence are pure eye candy, complete with beautiful lighting and whimsical imagery. The visual aesthetic of the film makes use of calming blues, popping reds and flattering natural lighting.


The most impressive part of “Sound of Violence” is its wonderful usage of the horror genre. Over the course of the film, Alexis’ methods of inflicting pain grow in increasing disturbingness. One sequence has the leading character attach a helpless victim to a mechanical seat, rigged with hammers and pointed objects. With each note pressed on a musical keyboard, the tools jam into the screaming character much to the pleasure of Alexis, each scream delivering musical bliss to her. It’s such a twisted concept that is portrayed beautifully through Brown’s performance and swift editing work.


Sound design is a huge part of the success of “Sound of Violence.” The overwhelming mixture of agonizing sounds and synth tones make it so audiences can hear and feel exactly what Alexis encounters during each of her kills. The overwhelming contrast between extreme noise and ominous silence makes the audio just as immersive as the film’s visuals. In moments of extreme gore, the putrid gushing noises will surely make audiences cringe with fright.


The narrative of “Sound of Violence” is almost like a thrill ride. Audiences are driven closer and closer up the tracks of a deadly journey, dreading the expected descent into the darkness of Alexis’ true capabilities. The horror set pieces throughout are disturbing and will surely be appreciated by horror fans. While the full arch of Alexis is intriguing, as the credits role, one may wonder what exactly the final message of the film truly was. It’s an uncomfortable experience from start to finish, but it would have benefited from a clearer purpose for its story.


As a well-shot, acted and directed horror experience, “Sound of Violence” checks all the boxes. While lacking in its overall narrative meaning, horror fans should definitely flock to this film to get their frightening fix.


4 Deadly Harps out of 5