A group of teens seek good times but end up with a lot more than they bargained for in Dead Sound, a brand new Thriller. Uncork’d Entertainment delivered the film to DVD and Digital on March 3rd, 2020.
Dead Sound stars Noah Gaynor (Luce 2019, Life Itself 2018), Sophie Faulkenberry (Alex Strangelove 2018, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit series), Matthew Gumley (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit series, Modern Family series) and Max Miller (Jessica Jones series, Trick 2019) as a group of rich high school friends headed to Block Island. Looking for a party, the drunken duo of Carson (Miller) and Nicky (Gumley), along with sober exes Jake (Gaynor) and Ashley (Faulkenberry), manage to miss their ferry and are stranded at the dock.
After some mingling with the locals in New London, Connecticut, the friends manage to convince a local named Bobby (John Behlmann: Good Behavior series, Riverdale series), the first mate on a fishing boat owned by Stone (Jeff Kober: The Walking Dead series, Sully 2016), to take them to Block Island for a wad of cash. Unfortunately, someone involved in the transaction has alternate ideas and the friends might not live to see their destination.
Clocking in at 83 minutes, Dead Sound was directed by Tony Glazer (Hostage 2012, Mired short 2016) and was written by Jon Adler with Ted Weihman. It also features the acting talents of Gwynneth Bensen (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit series, Sophia short 2018), Matty Cardarople (Stranger Things series, A Series of Unfortunate Events series), Brett Azar (Terminator Genisys 2015, Terminator: Dark Fate 2019), and more.
Billed as a Thriller, Dead Sound is just this: a slow-burn tension that builds until it explodes in the film’s third act. Similar, in some senses, to 1989’s Dead Calm, much of this tale is set at sea, with a group of well-to-do teens unwittingly deciding to trust a sociopath to deliver them to safety. So while the film certainly has its moments and makes for an enjoyable viewing experience, it does very little that you have not already seen in the Thriller-on-a-boat sub-genre. In short, you can expect some action, guns, a harpoon, people swimming for their lives, and one very bad dude.
In fact, key members of the cast provide much of the strength that holds Dead Sound above water. As the sociopath who manhandles the ladies, Behlmann is intense, suave in his calm yet sinister delivery. Instead, it is Kober who, of the two villains, is more thoughtful and calculated with a pinch of remorse for his actions. One of the film’s best scenes is a monologue from the exceptional actor, who delivers a speech steeped in class struggle and economic hardship, a moment that is wonderfully scripted and phenomenally delivered, giving a boost to the entire production.
Meanwhile, the pair’s younger co-stars are a mixed bag of abilities with Miller’s Carson serving as little more than cannon fodder, while Gumley’s Nicky is suitably obnoxious and entitled. While they are given little to work with as far as their characters go, the pair still manage to deliver solid performances.
Instead, the bulk of the character development provided in the story goes to Gaynor’s Jake and Faulkenberry’s Ashley. As a young man who is still very much in love with his ex, Jake is the calm, cool-headed member of the group of friends, and it is abundantly obvious from moment one that he will, in many senses, be the hero. Faulkenberry’s Ashley is the most well-rounded character of the group, a young woman who has just left rehab for drugs and alcohol, and is trying with all her might to make important changes in her life. She serves as a bridge between the gregarious Carson and Nicky and the stalwart Jake, a girl who can party but who is aiming for something more.
Ultimately, Dead Sound serves as a cautionary tale, a reminder to be careful who you trust and that we are not all exactly as we might initially seem. Some men do rotten things simply because they can, and this is a film that utilizes this fact, setting a languid pace that torments viewers with its mounting stress before its final act detonates with violence.
If you’re from the area, Dead Sound certainly has appeal for its familiar locales and faces. If not, well, this is a solid Thriller that is worth its runtime on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Either way, Cryptic Rock gives Dead Sound 3.5 of 5 stars.