The Holy Sound (2013)

A group of disillusioned teens are drawn to a mysterious artifact hidden deep beneath their town that produces an addictive, drug-like effect, but its powers begin to take a nightmarish tole on their fractured psyches in THE HOLY SOUND. Nicholas Wagner makes a surprise entrance into the genre with very limited resources in his feature film debut. As a director, his inexperience behind the camera shows a clear lack of refinement that results in a number of issues with the cinematography, editing, and sound. As a writer, however, he has accomplished something that few others have achieved in recent years. He has created a work that is intelligent, original, and engaging from start to finish. THE HOLY SOUND is quite unlike anything else in the genre, and its characters are given unique personalities that draw from true, heart-felt performances from the amateur cast. Ian Carmona and Elyse Dufour stand out in particular as the two reckless lovers who succumb to The Sound, feeding off of Wagner's script with raw emotion. Bart Debicki also delivers a number of powerful scenes as their jaded teacher, Art, who has been beaten and broken by unfulfilled dreams and past regrets. Christian Adams is left to carry the philosophical weight of the film as Sam, the last faithful Christian follower of the group whose beliefs are shaken by the ever-maddening world around him. THE HOLY SOUND is an instantly captivating film that demands reproach. Nicholas Wagner will be a name to follow in the years to come.

Rating: 7/10.

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