M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Last month, counted down my favorite horror films from my first year of reviewing. Now it’s on to Year Two which began officially on October 1, 2011 and went through September 30, 2012. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around a bit. I’ve even added a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!
How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st, 2011 and September 30, 2012 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number—31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on April 27, 2012 and available on Video On Demand, digital download, and DVD/BluRay!
SOUND OF MY VOICE (2011)
Directed by Zal Batmanglij
Written by Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling
Starring Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, Brit Marling, Davenia McFadden, Kandice Stroh, Richard Wharton, Christy Meyers, Alvin Lam, Constance Wu, Matthew Carey, Jacob Price, David Haley, James Urbaniak, Annie O’Donnell, Laura Leyva, Travis Johns, Piper Mackenzie Harris, Tonita Castro, Jack Griffo, Kyle Hacker, Avery Kristen Pohl
Find out more about this film here!
Slipping in like a thief in the night and then clapping like a thunderstrike is THE SOUND OF MY VOICE—a film that sheds no blood and unleashes no monsters, yet one that houses the highest of tension and suspense. I was blown away by this quiet little film and feel that, though one might have to squint, it definitely qualifies as horror without the usual trappings.
Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius) are a pair of filmmakers who go deep undercover to expose a secret cult led by Maggie (writer Brit Marling) who claims to come from the future to lead mankind to through turbulent times and to a time of peace. After infiltrating the cult, both filmmakers begin to question their own motivations and beliefs as Maggie proves to be every bit as charismatic and prophetic as her followers claim. But when Maggie raises the stakes, Peter and Lorna find themselves tempted to go right up to their moral edge to prove their allegiance.
Standing in the forefront of this film is the astounding performances by the three leads. Christopher Denham is one of my favorite actors. He is able to immerse himself in a role make every one different and unique. He reminds me of a young Michael Moriarty in his subtle, yet commanding performances, never forgetting to inject humanity and a little bit of sly humor in all the right places. Here, he is the quivering eyes and ears we experience this cult through. He wants to expose the cult as a fraud, but holds dire secrets in his past that Maggie is able to dredge up. Denham’s Peter goes through a transformation in this film that proves to be its move appealing factor. Nicole Vicius is equally good as Lorna, Peter’s rock who follows him almost as dedicatedly as Maggie’s followers obey her. The film does a very good job of fleshing out her character as well, giving her very different obstacles to face and make her way over. Through Peter and Lorna, we see two very different reactions of Maggie’s extreme practices—the one we think will be strong, proves to be weak and vice versa, making this a surprising and engrossing pair of paths to follow.
Brit Marling herself is fantastic as the enigmatic Maggie. Presented as sickly and waif-like, wearing a ghostly robe and spouting about ethereal origins, Maggie proves to be extremely convincing in her presentation. Then again, there are details in her story that never sit right with Peter, Lorna, and us as the audience such as the way Maggie quotes a Cranberries song as part of the future’s lore. This film does an amazing job of straddling that line of whether or not this cult has substance or not, keeping one guessing right up until the very end.
Filled with moments of harrowing dread, suspense, and intrigue from the first moments to a finale that will keep you talking about this film long after, it’s a shame SOUND OF MY VOICE wasn’t the first of a trilogy as intended. As is, SOUND OF MY VOICE is proof that horror comes in all shapes and sizes and sometimes the more psychological ones bore the deepest. Highly, highly recommended, this one is!
THE 2011-2012 COUNTDOWN!
#13 – SOUND OF MY VOICE
#14 – COLD SWEAT
#15 – THE INNKEEPERS
#16 – THE PACT
#17 – V/H/S
#18 – OUTCAST
#19 – LITTLE DEATHS
#20 – JUAN OF THE DEAD
#21 – BLOOD JUNKIE
#22 – THE SNOWTON MURDERS
#23 – PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3
#24 – [REC]3 GENESIS
#25 – JULIA’S EYES
#26 – MOTHER’S DAY
#27 – EL PARAMO (THE SQUAD)
#28 – INBRED
#29 – THE SLEEPER
#30 – FATHER’S DAY
#31 – THE MOTH DIARIES
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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