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80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , , , ,
  • Summary: 1976. A mild-mannered British sound engineer named Gilderoy arrives in Rome to work on the post-synchronized soundtrack to The Equestrian Vortex, a tale of witchcraft and murder set inside an all-girl riding academy. But as Gilderoy begins to work on this unexpectedly terrifying project,1976. A mild-mannered British sound engineer named Gilderoy arrives in Rome to work on the post-synchronized soundtrack to The Equestrian Vortex, a tale of witchcraft and murder set inside an all-girl riding academy. But as Gilderoy begins to work on this unexpectedly terrifying project, it's his own mind that holds the real horrors. As the line between film and reality blurs, is Gilderoy working on a film - or in one? [IFC Films] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 10, 2013
    100
    Utterly distinctive and all but unclassifiable, a musique concrète nightmare, a psycho-metaphysical implosion of anxiety, with strange-tasting traces of black comedy and movie-buff riffs. It is seriously weird and seriously good.
  2. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    May 10, 2013
    100
    It is one of the year’s very best films, a great, rumbling thunderclap of genius.
  3. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Jun 14, 2013
    90
    Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio is one horror film that opts to skip the usual frolic among those metaphorical monsters in favor of a deeply unsettling dive into the subconscious.
  4. Reviewed by: Jamie Graham
    May 10, 2013
    80
    Strickland’s nuanced, atmospheric, ambiguous movie transcends genre.
  5. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jun 11, 2013
    80
    The creepiness builds with symphonic precision until reality truly is indistinguishable from fantasy.
  6. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jun 13, 2013
    75
    A clever, elliptical, slightly bizarre and altogether transfixing psychological thriller.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 14, 2013
    40
    Fans of Dario Argento and Mario Bava will appreciate the references. Even for newcomers, there are minor chords to enjoy. If only there were less screaming.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Aug 6, 2013
    9
    This is a film all about atmosphere, not narrative (though the two are intrinsically linked, pushing each other forward). Toby Jones isThis is a film all about atmosphere, not narrative (though the two are intrinsically linked, pushing each other forward). Toby Jones is flawless, and the "ufo scene" is particularly amazing. Expand
  2. Jan 28, 2014
    9
    I loved this film. The visuals are very striking and the editing is phenomenal. Toby Jones is pretty great in this 'fish out of water' storyI loved this film. The visuals are very striking and the editing is phenomenal. Toby Jones is pretty great in this 'fish out of water' story which is really not a horror film, but more like a black comedy which is concerned with the process of making a film. Expand
  3. Jun 19, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers. As nearly every professional critic mentions, this movie is more of a cinematic freakout than a story, though there's enough story to grab on to. Is it good? Is it self-indulgent with a whiff of pretension? Is it cryptic enough to leave you without an easy answer? Yes, yes and yes.
    It isn't really a horror movie, except for in a psychological, David Lynch way. I would say that the main weakness [and here's the mild spoiler] is that it gives us yet another metadramatic "Is it real? Is it a fantasy? A dream? Is he insane and it's all in his head? Is it about filmmaking itself?" kind of thread to pull on. And I think that thread is threadbare this decade. It's been beat to death.
    This said, I half-expect to change my score to a 3 or a 9 after I eventually see this movie again. It's so weird that I'm not even sure if it's good, lousy or great.
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  4. Jan 26, 2015
    5
    A film about film is something arthouse likes to endeavour in, sometimes with success, sometimes not; and Berberian Sound Studio borrows fromA film about film is something arthouse likes to endeavour in, sometimes with success, sometimes not; and Berberian Sound Studio borrows from the greats (Inland Empire in particular). The idea is good, delving into the technical aspects and "behind-the-scenes" of a production, with gripping performances by the cast - however, it doesn't take off, due probably to the lack of a more structured plot.

    Don't get me wrong, I know these movies aren't supposed to have plot, but normally they make up for it with symbolism, or cinematography, or sense of awkwardness, or what have you. Toby Jones's descent into a state of morbid attraction towards the film he's helping to produce doesn't feel at all gradual or symbolic, but rather curt and uncalled for. The cinematography is good, the score is better, and there certainly is a sense of awkwardness throughout. It just doesn't play well with the story.

    In conclusion, Berberian Sound Studio goes in the right direction but at a wrong pace, or for the wrong reasons if you will. It's still interesting to watch.
    Expand
  5. Jun 21, 2013
    5
    I was drawn by the positive reviews of this film and justified my choice to watch it having seen Peter Strickland’s debut feature KatalinI was drawn by the positive reviews of this film and justified my choice to watch it having seen Peter Strickland’s debut feature Katalin Varga, which was defined by its vivid direction and use of a powerful score as contributing character to the film. Regrettably this was a lot less lucid and much more convoluted, confusing and even disturbing at times. The soundtrack on a league of its own and deserving all the possible awards in this category, but unfortunately, apart from the technical merits there is little else to write home about. Expand
  6. Oct 31, 2013
    0
    Do not waste your time or especially do not spend your hard earned money buying or renting this film. I warn you. The only other time I was asDo not waste your time or especially do not spend your hard earned money buying or renting this film. I warn you. The only other time I was as disappointed by a "horror" movie was when I saw Puppet Master Versus Demonic Toys. All this movie is is a timid guy doing his job making scary sounds for horror films. Oh my God that's scary right? No it really really isn't. I was expecting to see at least one murder or attempt at murder or at least one drop of blood for that matter. So annoyed that I actually watched this whole film. I was fooled by the ratings others gave it and I have a feeling so will many others 0/10 Expand

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