Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
In our new episode of 'Sleeping Beauty' for Ink & Paint, Daniel looks at its lasting legacy on animation, cinema and art - click to listen now!x
review, Tone-Deaf, Tone-Deaf, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Amanda Crew, Robert Patrick, Hayley Marie Norman, Annalynne McCord, Kim Delaney, Johnny Pemberton, Ray Santiago, Nelson Franklin, Tate Ellington, Gigi Zumbado, Richard Bates Jr, Comedy, Horror, Thriller

TONE-DEAF

A HORROR IN ITS EXECUTION ONLY

SYDNEY UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
11th September 2019

There are good bad films - and then there are bad bad films. Sometimes there’s a guilty pleasure in watching trashy films; it can be a great escape for film lovers who are often inundated by lofty works of art. But there are other movies that are nothing more than a grind to get through - whether it be slow pacing, sloppy writing, overused stereotypes, poor production qualities, or a combination of the above. Horror is one of those genres that can easily slip into either category - but unfortunately, Richard Bates Jr’s (‘Suburban Gothic’, ‘Trash Fire’) latest film ‘Tone-Deaf’ is a horror in its execution only.

Olive (Amanda Crew, ‘Freaks’, ‘Sex Drive’, TV’s ‘Silicon Valley’) needs to get out of LA after a bad break-up with her fiancé. She road trips up to Piru for a quiet weekend away. She rents a secluded country house from widower Harvey (Robert Patrick, ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’, ‘The Faculty’), but it soon becomes obvious he’s no kindly old man. He’s out for blood - and once he gets the taste of it, there’s no stopping him.

'TONE-DEAF' TRAILER

The golden rule in horrors is simple: don’t reveal the big bad too soon. Having Harvey explaining his entire motivation like some B-grade supervillian is wholly unnecessary, and doesn’t offer any true rationale for his actions. All it accomplishes is alleviating any element of Harvey that’s mildly scary by portraying him as a grumpy old man. While all the characters here are drawn paper-thin, Harvey is positively transparent; he grumbles profusely about “millennials” ruining everything, but also shows resentment for events from his own life, including his childhood and marriage. He constantly breaks the fourth wall to wax lyrical to the camera in what feels like the world’s most irritating PSA. If I were Robert Patrick, I would be genuinely ashamed to be associated with this project.

Amanda Crew as our lead doesn’t fare any better. While she’s going for a ditsy young woman riddled with first-world problems, the comedy element of this trope never succeeds, only adding to the painful experience of the movie. Given nothing to work with - most of the time she’s solo in the deserted house - it’s little surprise this story is anything but a success. You sit through the first half hour of the film as the first act establishes everything and wonder: how can this possibly have another hour to go? The answer is with unbearably drawn-out scenes and wildly unrealistic plot points.

If I were Robert Patrick, I would be genuinely ashamed to be associated with this project.

There’s little that’s scary about this horror; the most tense moment is Olive walking down a staircase with nails protruding from planks of wood beneath her - but let’s be honest, ‘A Quiet Place’ successfully achieved that suspense in a classier, more entertaining package. Here, we’re forced to endure jump scares, bizarre dreams with no bearing on the story, and visions that could either be of some hellish manifestation or Harvey’s dementia. And as for that title? If you can bother sticking around for the explanation, the payoff is definitely not worth the pain.

‘Tone-Deaf’ has the story of a short film in the guise of a feature. It’s lazy, unoriginal, poorly written, blandly shot, and woefully acted. Any saving graces the film may have possessed - the comedic potential, unique storytelling elements, a respectable cast - are thrown by the wayside in favour of an outdated lesson on generational differences. What we’re left with is a pointless, dull, drawn-out attempt at horror. The only reason it’ll leave you screaming is out of boredom.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 27m
CAST: Amanda Crew
Robert Patrick
Hayley Marie Norman
Annalynne McCord
Kim Delaney
Johnny Pemberton
Ray Santiago
Nelson Franklin
Tate Ellington
Gigi Zumbado
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Richard Bates Jr
PRODUCERS: Brion Hambel
Paul Jensen
Lawrence Mattis
Brad Mendelsohn
Matt Smith
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Underground Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
The Food Club - A taste of the spice of life
TRENDINGWIN THE FOOD CLUBA taste of the spice of life
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
High Ground - Australia's cycle of violence
TRENDINGHIGH GROUNDAustralia's cycle of violence
The Secrets We Keep - They kept a big secret... this movie is mediocre
TRENDINGTHE SECRETS WE KEEPThey kept a big secret... this movie is mediocre
Jungle - A true story told poorly
TRENDINGJUNGLEA true story told poorly
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Summerland - Sweet and sentimental
TRENDINGSUMMERLANDSweet and sentimental
Malila: The Farewell Flower - Contemplating love and loss
TRENDINGMALILA: THE FAREWELL FLOWERContemplating love and loss
Pixie - A violent bunch of eejits
TRENDINGPIXIEA violent bunch of eejits
High School Musical - The start of something new, even 15 years on
TRENDINGHIGH SCHOOL MUSICALThe start of something new, even 15 years on
The Trouble with Being Born - Controversial, unsettling and intelligent science-fiction
TRENDINGTHE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORNControversial, unsettling and intelligent science-fiction
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
Penguin Bloom - An inspiring true Aussie film
TRENDINGPENGUIN BLOOMAn inspiring true Aussie film
The Great Battle - An awesomely entertaining war epic
TRENDINGTHE GREAT BATTLEAn awesomely entertaining war epic
The Painter and the Thief - A strange, joyful examination of an artist and her muse
TRENDINGTHE PAINTER AND THE THIEFA strange, joyful examination of an artist and her muse
Promising Young Woman - Nice guys no more
TRENDINGPROMISING YOUNG WOMANNice guys no more
The Wolf's Call - Suspense, silliness and sonar sweeps
TRENDINGTHE WOLF'S CALLSuspense, silliness and sonar sweeps
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
The World at War - The landmark documentary series restored in high definition
TRENDINGTHE WORLD AT WARThe landmark documentary series restored in high definition
Ammonite - Francis Lee delivers another beautiful portrait of love and longing
TRENDINGAMMONITEFrancis Lee delivers another beautiful portrait of love and longing
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!