06th Mar2020

‘Dead Sound’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Jeff Kober, Caroline Day, Matty Cardarople, Brett Azar, Eric Tabach, Ashley Austin Morris, Sophie Faulkenberry, John Behlmann, Matthew Gumley, Noah Gaynor, Max Miller | Written by Jon Adler, Ted Weihman | Directed by Tony Glazer

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Dead Sound, directed by Tony Glazer (Junction) tells the story of four best friends who decide to attend a massive blow-out high school graduation party on Block Island. After missing the last ferry they decide to hire a fishing boat to take them on what should be a simple journey. What they get is the trip from hell, with a captain and his first mate that have no intention of taking the kids to Block Island, putting them into a fight to survive and to simply make it back to land… any land.

It would seem, given the recent release of Harpoon, Blood Vessel, the Gary Oldman-starrer Mary, and now Dead Sound, that horror set at sea is becoming en vogue once again. Though only a small sub-genre within horror, terror tales set on a boat have a long lineage – from the likes of 1944’s Lifeboat, to more modern takes such as Death Ship, The Uninvited, Deep Rising, Ghost Ship and Triangle – the small scale location gives films an instant claustrophobic nature that is typically heightened by the rest of the films story.

In the case of Dead Sound, which is apparently “inspired by a true story”, we have what is essentially kids vs killer pirates, but cranked up to tense, suspenseful levels. The kind of knife-edge thriller that uses moments of quiet as terrifyingly as it does violence, keeping the audience on tenterhooks, just waiting for the next thing to happen – thankfully, despite their unlikable characteristics at first, willing the kids to survive. Yes, we have – once again – a film that is filled with unlikeable characters: the bad guys are just that, bad; whilst the teens in this tale are pretentious rich-kid types that deserve a good slapping. Though they certainly get more than that her; which is probably why the audience will root for them in the end.

We also have a film that deals with socio-political ills – here the kids are the haves and the pirates the have-nots. You see, our villains weren’t always evil. Nope they were fishermen, pushed out of their meagre living by the gentrification of the area and the drive for tourism rather than industry. Tourism driven by money. Money that leads to jealously and in this case, eventually driving men to steal and kill. Even when they’re torn about what they’re doing – as displayed by Jeff Kober’s stunning performance.

A fantastic and timely “us versus them” tale, Dead Sound‘s DTV status means it might, unfortunately, get lost in the over-crowded shelves of retailers and it certainly doesn’t deserve that fate. Honestly, this is a case of if you see it, buy it. You won’t be disappointed.

Dead Sound is out now on DVD and Digital, in the US, from Uncork’d Entertainment.

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