Star rating - 7/10
Psychological thrillers are not my normal bill of fayre when it comes to films, and my guess is that Berberian Sound Studio is not your normal run-of-the-mill psychological thriller either, so this was a real step into the unknown. Which is exactly what straight laced Englishman Guilderoy (Toby Jones) does when he enters the creepy and strange world inside this particular 1970s Italian sound studio, created by director Peter Strickland.
Here nothing is as it seems, and what it seems to be is gradually extremely disturbed and disturbing for the visiting technician. Macabre sounds are made with fruit and vegetables, which are then left to rot in a putrid mass in a box on the side of the action. The grainy muted colour palette which the film is shot in heightens the tension, and adds to the decidedly odd atmosphere.
There is a very scary producer (Cosimo Fusco) in charge of proceedings, who directs two women in a booth to record truly horrible sounds. But there does not seem to be an actual film. Everyone is serious and stern, especially the receptionist who persistently refuses to deal with Gilderoy's expenses, and then tells him that his flight did not exist at all. It will definitely cast a whole new light to my expenses claiming procedure at work, I can tell you. And then there is a young sweet man who keeps appearing with chocolates for no apparent reason.
This is a film which defies easy description, and is probably one for the film buffs. It gets increasingly disturbing and confusing as it goes on, and stayed with me long after the credits rolled, wondering what it all meant and what really happened - never mind why. It was a good experience - sort of - I think, and I left with the same feeling I get after watching an excess of David Lynch. So that's not a bad thing. Go and find out for yourselves is really the best advice I can give.