Independent Horror

A strange addiction through the terror of noise ‘The Holy Sound’ – movie review

What if there was a place where you could experience the ultimate high, the pinnacle of bliss and take a trip into the deepest parts of your subconscious… all for free. What would you do to have that experience? Who would you tell? The answers can be found in the new micro-budget indie horror from director Nicholas Wagner.



In The Holy Sound, a group of disenfranchised teenagers find a strange stone obelisk in a cave in the woods that emits an addictive noise that affects the human body like a drug. As the effects of the obelisk grow stronger and more profound, friendships are pushed to the limit and the lines between right and wrong become blurred.

The central characters in this tale are Rory (Ian Carmona), who is in equal measure intelligent and angry; his nerdy best friend Sam (Christian Adams), who in many ways is the other side to Rory’s coin, small, withdrawn and socially awkward. He is struggling to find his own identity and purpose in life, so turns towards a highly dubious Pastor (Tom Myers) to help him figure out his relationship with God and Christianity. Then there is Parker (Elyse DuFour) – the third side of the triangle who lives with her overprotective father. Parker is seen by many around her as being manipulative, but perhaps only really only commits the crime of being attractive and popular whilst refusing to belong to any one social group. Finally, there is Art (Bart Dibicki)… Rory and Sams’ English Tutor who helps them write for the school paper and pushes them hard to succeed but seems to genuinely care about them.

The film plays out more like a typical indie rite of passage indie drama than a garish teen horror… think The Virgin Suicides or Donnie Darko rather than The Evil Dead remake or Cabin Fever. There are a lot of monologues, voiceovers and conversational interaction between characters as they discuss things like the philosophical nature of consciousness, existentialism, art and literature. Thankfully, thanks to the likable nature and skilled performances of all the actors playing these main parts, this doesn’t come across as too pretentious or condescending and instead makes these characters more real and believable. Their worries and troubles seem real and plausible and a good deal of humorous and witty dialogue prevents the film from becoming too serious for its own good and boring the viewer with its own worthiness, which is quite a common occurrence with features of this type.



The Holy Sound deals with many deep and contemplative issues which all centre on the dream like effects of the stone in the cave and it would be easy to see the stone as an obvious metaphor for hard drug use. But to do this would be to narrow down the more expansive potential of the story arch. Desire, loneliness, love, religion, power, responsibility, control… all of these things are presented to us in an emotionally and intellectually challenging way and are held together with the string of a well paced thriller. A very watchable and accomplished piece of work, which although is relatively short at just under an hour’s runtime, ends right where it should… on a high with a feeling of resolution but also a lasting impression on the viewer.

3.5 / 5

THE HOLY SOUND is directed by Nicholas Wagner and stars Ian Carmona, Christian Adams, Jack Mcgale, Elyse Dufour, Bart Debicki, and Tom Myers. The movie can be watched for free in its entirety at



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