AW Kautzer's Film Review Fantasia Film Fest Film

The Block Sound Island – Fantasia Film Festival 2020

The Block Island Sound

A little bit of HP Lovecraft infused storytelling with The McManus Brothers’ The Block Island Sound.  Except… it’s not.  But it is!

The mystery at the center of the newest film from the McManus Brothers film is a good one albeit one that has been played before.  The Block Island Sound is a stylishly lo-fi affair.

There has been something very off on Block Island. Harry Lynch (Chris Sheffield) a misanthrope is beginning to understand this.  Harry, his father (Neville Archambault), and sister (Michaela McManus) begin to intertwine in the mystery of this island.  Unexplained phenomenon, visions, and so much more the Lynch’s see and experience for themselves.  

The McManus Brothers have built a film that centers on a mystery that requires to remain a mystery.  The plot descript above covers the first thirty minutes of the film.  There is an investigative aspect to the film that drives the narrative that feels Lovecraftian in the best way possible.  

There is a great reliance on story and the unseen in the film that is refreshing for a story of this kind.  Oftentimes, these films will become FX heavy spectacles even in the lower budget realm.  The McManus’ understand the moments to show off, and even then, the FX work is never flashy and always designed for maximum effect.

The biggest issue with the film is the third act suffers from characters’ motivations are for plot purposes and not out of character.  This creates a series of events that are more frustrating and make things a bit more predictable.

The Block Island Sound is a film that many horror fans will find engaging as some will be frustrated by its final third act.

The Block Island Sound is playing Fantasia August 28th and September 1st 

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