Sound of Silence (2023) Review
Sound of Silence was written and directed by Alessandro Antonaci, Daniel Lascar, and Stefano Mandalà who work collectively under the label of T3. They previously made the feature You Die and several shorts including the 2020 short Sound of Silence that they’ve now expanded into a feature. But can the concept survive going from three minutes to ninety-three minutes?
An old man, Peter (Peter Stephen Wolmarans) is puttering around in his attic when he finds an old, possibly antique, radio. He becomes so intent on fixing it that he ignores his wife (Sandra Pizzullo) telling him dinner is ready. He should have listened to her because once the radio is working it unleashes something that attacks them both.
In New York City, Emma (Penelope Sangiorgi), an aspiring singer, freezes at an audition. She goes home where her boyfriend Seba (Rocco Marazzita, Sospeso, Skin – Tattoos to Die For) tries to cheer her up. It seems to be working until she gets a call from her mother telling her that her father is in the hospital. They immediately pack for a flight back to Italy.
At the hospital, they find out her father is in ICU. It appears he attacked her mother who pushed him down the stairs in self-defense. She claims it when he attacked he wasn’t himself and tells them not to spend the night in the house. Of course, they don’t listen.
Italian horror cinema is far from its glory days of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and The Beyond. Apart from the occasional pleasant surprise such as Dark Glasses or Nightmare Symphony, its output has mostly been disappointing. So I really wasn’t expecting a lot from Sound of Silence. But, speaking of pleasant surprises, this is actually a good movie. It uses the cursed radio to summon specters that can roam the entire house. Then it mixes them with the hunting by sound elements of A Quiet Place and Don’t Breathe.
There is a good mix of creepy moments and jump scares as Emma tries to avoid the ghosts and figure out how to get rid of them. And while Sound of Silence follows cliche and leaves her alone in the house the way they did it was amusing and allowed for a reference to one of Italy’s most famous nongenre films, Vittorio De Sica’s The Bicycle Thief.
The recording studio in the house at first struck me as a stretch, but considering the size of Emma’s NYC apartment and the fact they can afford to blow off work and fly to Italy at a moment’s notice says there’s money in the family, so they easily could have indulged her. Its soundproof qualities, and the old tapes in it, give the film some of its more interesting moments.
Penelope Sangiorgi is on screen in almost every scene and gives a convincing performance despite frequently being either alone, or with only a ghost to react to. The whole cast is surprisingly good considering that, despite being an Italian production, much of Sound of Silence was filmed in English adding an extra layer of difficulty for the performers.
On the downside, the ending drags out too long. There’s a great moment for it to end on, but instead, it goes through several minutes of filler before delivering a final scare that’s equally stretched out. There are a couple of other scenes that could have used a trim as well though not nearly as badly. Possibly that’s the result of trying to make sure all three members of the team got their contributions in.
Overall though Sound of Silence is a fun ghost story that should deliver some creepy moments as well as several good jumps.