Fantasia Review: ‘The Block Island Sound’ is suitably creepy

Sometimes I wonder if people in movies watch movies because when weird things start happening like tons of dead fish washing up on the shore of a small, peaceful island you’d think someone would say “wait I have seen this before.”

Cut to Block Island. A small, peaceful island with a year-round population of less than a thousand, and tons of dead fish washing up on the beaches. A marine biologist comes to town to investigate and finds more than she bargained for.

Yes, you have seen this set up before. Yes, this goes to some probably different places.

Audrey (Michaela McManus), the marine biologist, grew up on the island and uses the opportunity to reconnect with her brother Harry (Chris Sheffield) and father (Neville Archambault), but it turns out that something is rotten in Block Island. Something is out there on the sound making, well, a sound, that is influencing the wildlife and some of the people.

The Block Island Sound

The Block Island Sound is a gorgeously shot horror film. Almost every exterior shot is beautiful and takes full advantage of the location. The score and sound design are also top notch, with much of the tension involved being ratcheted up by the auditory experience.

It is also well cast and –and I say this as someone who grew up on a small island– really captures that small, island town feel of everyone knowing everyone.

Chris Sheffield is doing good work here as Harry; the black sheep estranged from his family and most of the island. Once things start going south, it’s him that carries the film across the finish line.

But about that finish line, while I think the film is well-produced and acted, once the reveal of what is really going on happens I found it a little underwhelming. If you pay attention while you watch it you may be able to figure it out pretty early, too.

Does that make it a bad film? No, not exactly, but it does keep it from being a great one.

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