By Zack Haddad | January 24, 2007

2007 SUNDANCE WORLD DRAMATIC COMPETITION FEATURE! Finally, a decent thriller with a fresh take on the whole “group of mysterious murders” genre, one where the sound makes all the difference. On most points a great film, it becomes almost tragic that the end pay-off doesn’t match up to the rest of the film’s quality.

In “Noise,” a young girl witnesses a brutal massacre in a train, which sets into motion the discovery of who the killer is and therefore the need to protect the girl from the mystery killer since she was the lone witness. Wherein we meet Constable Graham McGahan, a man who discovers he has a chronic hearing problem and, after having an argument with his boss, fnds himself stationed in a police caravan where he winds up meeting many people affected by the tragic killings. The film itself is quite interesting but the sound design of the film is amazing.

Matthew Saville both wrote and directed the film, and while both the story and imagery are competent, the sound design of the film is amazing. For example, McGahan will be talking to someone; there are normal sounds all around him, except for this continuous beeping sound that can be picked up under everything else. Adding this little extra audio subtlety adds a whole new connection to McGahan.

That being said, with all the praise I have for this film, the ending isn’t up to par with the rest of the film and leaves many unfortunately unanswered questions. I will not disclose the end of the film, because I do recommend you see this film and I don’t want to be a total douche who spoils it, but one unanswered question I have is: why did the killer kill everyone in the first place? What was the motivation? The neglect of this, and other, simple plot points make the film feel a little empty and unresolved.

Though the end doesn’t quite live up to the potential of the rest of the movie, it was still a great ride with an entertaining story. This was a decent crime thriller and until the form is revived inearnest, “Noise” will more than hold down the fort.

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