Friday, October 30, 2009

Masters of Horror S2 04: Sounds Like (2006)

Sounds Like is an excellent work of psychological horror, the first 'must-see' episode of the 2nd season of Masters of Horror. That it comes from director Brad Anderson is little surprise; he has already provided the world with a pair of mind fucks in Session 9 and The Machinist.


Larry Pearce is a call center monitor for a software company, but he's also got a special gift...he can hear things, really well. TOO well. After the tragic death of his son to a rare heart disorder, this ability has been driving him nearly to the brink. Anywhere he seems to go, even a public library, the smaller sounds begin to amplify and horrify him. Dealing with the stress of his work, a wife who has also gone a little buggy in her own way, and all of the sounds...may be a little more than Larry can handle. But he discovers one solution to relieve his problem...a deadly solution.

Chris Bauer is a phenomenal actor, who I can watch in just about any role he is given. Most would know him as the alcoholic short fuse deputy Andy Bellefleur on the True Blood TV series, but he's had quite a few roles before that. Bauer is perfect for this character, an everyman with a great wealth of facial expressions and emotional range. He truly nails Larry Pearce, and we are all the richer for it. His aura seeing wife, Brenda, is performed well by Laura Margolis.

Sounds Like
is not a gore fest like many other Masters of Horror epidoes, it's almost entirely psychological, with but a few gooey scenes near the climax. It slowly burns on the viewer like a quality Hitchcock film, and in the end, it's one of the most terrifying things I've seen on TV. The strings and sounds are expertly placed to build maximum tension, and the end of the film is simultaneously sad, beautiful and terrifying.

By far one of the highlights of this TV series, in either of its seasons, Sounds Like is essential viewing for a fan of the true, old school horror that requires no massive body count or alien special effects.

Verdict: Epic Win [9/10]

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