Sound of Violence opens with a family coping with a father returning from war, not re-integrating back into the mundane day-to-day family life, something many families can relate to.
The Tagline “Her music kills” pretty much sets you up to what the plot of the movie is going to be about.
Young Alexis lost her hearing after an accident and finds solace through ‘hearing’ music by feeling the beats. One night, at the age of ten, she hears a ‘beat’ that she instantly fears and witnesses the brutal murder of her mother at her father’s hands.
At that moment, her synesthetic abilities are awakened as she regains her hearing, and she won’t understand the whole meaning of it until ten years later. At that time, Alexis (Jasmin Savoy Brown) works to complete a musical piece for her thesis. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Synesthesia as a subjective sensation or image of a sense (as of color) other than the one (as of sound) being stimulated. In Alexis’s case, she can “see” sound (particularly violent sounds) represented by a rainbow of explosive colors, and it sends her into a state of euphoria.
Alexis engages in a multitude of experiments with her roommate/bisexual lover Marie (Lili Simmons) in an effort to record and capture different sounds, mainly sounds produced through violence and pain. This quickly turned into a solo effort when Alexis quickly realizes that Marie is not on the same wavelength on what it will take to capture the data that she needs.
Her chase becomes a form of addiction as she is constantly searching for the next ‘sound fix,’ each yearning to be stronger than the previous. The film follows her as she becomes a serial killer, in essence, for the next victim. One slightly unrealistic part of the film is that while Alexis does not put much effort into covering her tracks, the police seem to always be one step behind.
Interestingly, while there are not many characters in Sound of Violence, it appears that Alex Noyer purposely did not focus on nor develop the few relationships that did exist to keep the audience focused on Alexis’s journey.
The Sound of Violence reminds us that you can get PTSD from a traumatic event, and it can show up in a plethora of ways. While through the title, there is a level of predictability, and the audience can assume they are going to witness a variety of killings. Still, each one was intricately planned, and the uniqueness keeps you watching, with an ending that might be unexpected.
Sound of Violence grabs your attention from the opening scene and keeps you hooked until the end.