Strange things occur after a British audio technician is summoned to Italy to work on a gory giallo film.
Gilderoy (Toby Jones) is a fragile audio technician who mostly works on nature documentaries. In 1976, he is summoned from his home in England to work for an Italian production company on an unspecified project. Upon his arrival, Gilderoy learns that has been hired to work on an ultra-violent giallo film called THE EQUESTRIAN VORTEX. Under the supervision of director Giancarlo Santini (Antonio Mancino) and producer Francesco Coraggio (Cosimo Fusco), Gilderoy creates audio landscapes full of gibbering goblins, orgasmic witches, and squished heads. Gilderoy’s sense of unease about his job is raised to unbearable levels as his life becomes increasingly similar to THE EQUESTRIAN VORTEX.
Films that attempt to replicate the lurid style of Italian giallo films from the ‘60s and ‘70s often mimic the obvious details—colored gel lighting, psychedelic soundscapes and black gloved killers—without going
any deeper. Peter Strickland’s BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO takes an entirely different approach. This is a bizarre atmospheric thriller that digs deep beneath the skin to probe giallo’s bloody beating heart. The titular sound studio provides Strickland with both a means of paying homage to the esoteric details of giallo—particularly the genre’s unique approach to sound design—and a context for Gilderoy’s collapse into madness. Toby Jones delivers an exceptional performance as a naif who is thrust into bizarre world where cinematic horror and reality are inexplicably fused. BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO is truly one of the most unique films of 2012. (Rodney Perkins)