Peter Strickland's follow up to Katalina Varga (2009) is a truly unsettling and memorable experience . Portraying a stuffy home-counties film sound designer Toby Jones is seconded to Italy to work in the gothic nether-regions of 1970s schlock horror. Unfortunately these foreign environs are far less welcoming than he had been led to believe, and whilst recording soundscapes of relentless knife stabs, screams and violent sex he increasingly pines for the Vaughn Williams scored pastoral England he left behind in the safe hands of Mother. As the anguish increases and his place of work becomes more mental asylum than post-production facility, our erstwhile sound recordist's conscious and unconscious quietly merge. With nods towards Lynch, Cronenberg and Antonioni's Blow Up, Berberian Sound Studio takes the notion of the unreliable narrator to new cinematic heights.


Peter Strickland

UK 2012 92m