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Toby Jones
Cosimo Fusco
Antonio Mancino.
Peter Strickland.
Peter Strickland.
Running Time
94 minutes

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Berberian Sound Studio
Sonic doom

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As mild-mannered foley artist Gilderoy (Jones) works on a low-budget Italian horror called Equestrian Vortex his grasp of reality and fiction becomes ever more blurry.

Berberian Sound Studio
After his striking Hungarian-language debut, Katalin Varga, it was anyone’s guess what Brit writer-director Peter Strickland would do next. Few, however, would have bet on a '70s-set psychological thriller, in which an unassuming Surrey sound engineer named Gilderoy (Jones) is invited to the eponymous Italian studio to work on the latest splatterfest by famous giallo director Santini (Mancino). Obliging at first, the achingly parochial Gilderoy soon begins to question the artistic validity of the patently misogynistic killings the film portrays, until gradually his sanity threatens to succumb to the dark horrors he is forced to watch, on repeat, every day. Anchored by a typically flawless performance by Jones, Strickland’s second film begins as an audio geek’s dream, before spiralling inexorably into the stuff of David Lynch’s nightmares.

With a debut film, Katalin Varga, shot entirely in Hungarian, Strickland isn't one for the easy option. This excellent follow-up plunges into equally unusual terrain with similarly pleasing results.

Reviewed by David Hughes

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Berberian Sound Studio
Empire Star Rating

RE: A long, drawn out, empty experience

My No ! film of the year. Funny, creepy, and humble. After seeing this I went down the town and, bought Vargare's no mistake trickland mentioned in the same breath as Paul Thomas Anderson as 2 of the must-see film-makers of the moment. ... More

Posted by demoncleaner at 03:37, 10 March 2013 | Report This Post

RE: A long, drawn out, empty experience

Up there with Django as 2012 film of the year, weird, atmospheric and well written. I don't think of it as a horror film though. ... More

Posted by Davross at 19:45, 09 March 2013 | Report This Post

A long, drawn out, empty experience

I really wanted to like this but couldnt....despite the superb Jones being in it. It just dragged on and NOTHING HAPPENED, you kept expecting it to, some little twist or final big climax but no...nothing....just a guy getting more and more frustrated and then it ended. Yes it looked nice and was quite atmospheric but it was so empty and went nowhere....just watching the interviews with the pretentious director left me wanting to berate him for such an exercise in banality. He had the finance, t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Paulypoos at 18:19, 27 February 2013 | Report This Post


This is the kind of horror film that snobby film critics tend to like but I loathe. Too dull, too talkative, weird just for the sake of being weird and – most crucially – NOT VERY SCARY!!! I would have preferred to watch the fake movie that the characters were actually working on rather than sit through this RUBBISH again. ONE STAR. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ROTGUT at 16:26, 26 February 2013 | Report This Post

A film about sound and cleverly written too. I thought visually it should have been grittier to get that authentic '70's look as everyting about it is very slick. I loved the fact that you see such little action; as with all good horror films-it should be left to the imagination. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by gzus at 20:25, 09 February 2013 | Report This Post

A film about sound and cleverly written too. I thought visually it should have been grittier to get that authentic '70's look as everyting about it is very slick. I loved the fact that you see such little action; as with all good horror films-it should be left to the imagination. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by gzus at 20:25, 09 February 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Wife thought it was bab

Most reviews I read about this made it sound like a horror film, and it really does i] like a horror film, in its blackly comic look at the trade of a foley artist. Comparisons have inevitably been made with David Lynch's output, but it actually reminded me of a skewed British version of Lost in Translation, in depicting the discomfort of a lonely Englishman abroad. In fact, with Toby Jones' pudgy face, language difficulties and questionable mental state, it could well be an account of Gazza's ... More

Posted by MOTH at 15:44, 08 January 2013 | Report This Post

Wife thought it was bab

My wife thought it was one of the worst films she has ever seen because the story just fizzled out with no real conclusion, and is angry that she cant get that time back that she wasted watching it.....she could have been knitting after all. I, however, liked it...thought that it was atmospheric and the acting by Toby Jones as his mind breaks apart was excellent. So, for me it was better than knitting, if only slightly because knitting is wonderful. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jamiemorrison2 at 22:04, 07 January 2013 | Report This Post

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