Berberian Sound Studio

2013

Berberian Sound Studio

Critics Consensus

Its reach may exceed its grasp, but with Berberian Sound Studio, director Peter Strickland assembles a suitably twisted, creepy tribute to the Italian Giallo horror movies of the '70s that benefits from a strong central performance by Toby Jones.

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 98

53%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,257
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Movie Info

In the 1970s, a British sound technician is brought to Italy to work on the sound effects for a gruesome horror film. His nightmarish task slowly takes over his psyche, driving him to confront his own past. Berberian Sound Studio is many things: an anti-horror film, a stylistic tour de force, and a dream of cinema. As such, it offers a kind of pleasure that is rare in films, while recreating in a highly original way the pleasures of Italian horror cinema. (c) IFC

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Critic Reviews for Berberian Sound Studio

All Critics (98) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (83) | Rotten (15)

  • If you're open to films that fearlessly twist the conventions, and that mine the language of sound and image for their own strange potential, you'll get a kick from this rivetingly inventive, abrasively un-British piece of nightmare cinema.

    Dec 31, 2013 | Full Review…
  • While it's a loving homage to movies like Dario Argento's Suspiria and is crafted with tons of style, it leaves out one key ingredient: being even remotely scary.

    Oct 4, 2013 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Radishes, cabbages and melons meet horrific ends in Berberian Sound Studio, a down-the-earhole psychodrama where what you hear is more terrifying than what you see.

    Aug 1, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Writer/director Peter Strickland intriguingly weaves into the story a movie-within-a-movie that we barely see, but we hear.

    Jul 4, 2013 | Rating: 3/4
  • A sometimes interesting, sometimes head-scratching movie that pays homage to the old ways of the sound mixing world and to the "giallo" genre of horror that was prominent in Italy during the 1970s.

    Jun 21, 2013 | Rating: 2 | Full Review…
  • [It] not only exploits one of cinema's most important modes, it also attempts something more difficult: turning a genre movie into a work of art.

    Jun 20, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Berberian Sound Studio

  • Dec 19, 2016
    Very clever little giallo about the making of a giallo.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 30, 2016
    I love the way the sound design informs the internal struggles of the main character in such a way it re-contextualizes almost every scene, and the overall dynamic of the story itself. The sound studio setting is also a brilliant way to call out this clash between the very British way of internalizing emotion versus the outward fiery passion of these Italian artists, each dealing with a power struggle, and working toward a similar goal.
    Hayden B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 31, 2015
    An imaginative and expertly-edited psychological thriller/meta exercise that dissolves the barrier between reality and fiction using a fantastic sound design, beautiful scene transitions and a smart cinematography that nicely references the style of the Italian giallos of the '70s.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2015
    Fabulously designed, shot and performed, this film will be especially pleasing for giallo film fans. The ending is a little too abrupt and abstract for me, but otherwise I loved this unique, economical movie.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer

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