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While The Sonata has no shortage of gripping moments, it’s still missing the weirdness and stylishness that made the similarly themed “Rosemary’s Baby” or “The Frantic” classics.
Nick Rocco Scalia
For a while, the film’s elegant art-horror vibe is quite compelling, leaving the ancient secret societies and demonic entities that it hints at tantalizingly off-screen and just out of Rose’s grasp. Unfortunately, though, the film begins to stumble late in its second act, its well set-up mystery devolving into a contrived sort of video-game logic.
While the director clearly has a few tricks up his sleeve for hitting his viewers with the heebie jeebies, what he doesn’t have, at least for The Sonata, is a sense of how to weave those tricks into a unified, cohesive narrative.
Los Angeles Times
The Sonata is well-made but not exceptional. It could use fewer long, expository conversations and more heart-stopping horror set-pieces. The actors have a lot of verve, but because their characters are so straightforward — bordering on archetypal — their situation is hard to connect to on an emotional level.
It’s Looks 10, Personality 4, however, as director Andrew Desmond and collaborator Arthur Morin’s screenplay doesn’t quite provide enough incident to properly milk its own premise, making for a supernatural thriller that ends just as it’s beginning to work up a sweat.
The score, by Alexis Maingaud, is horror strings on steroids and quite lovely. Director Andrew Desdmond and his production designer and cinematographer conjure up a properly spooky look and setting — overcast skies, dimly-lit chambers, a foggy forest. But the script delivers very little punch or pace to let that creepy vibe pay off.
The New York Times
Bedazzled or otherwise, clichés are still clichés, and this debut feature from Andrew Desmond is strewn with them.
A number of questions await anyone who lasts the full 88 minutes. What just happened? Was the suicidal composer a lunatic devil worshiper who planned for his daughter to follow in his footsteps? Will anyone else ever hear the sonata of the damned? Does anyone care?
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