With certain directors, you either love or hate their output. Whilst this holds true across all genres of cinema, in horror there tends to be slightly less polarisation of opinion. Step forward Richard Bates Jr., who is arguably one of the most ‘marmite’ film-makers working in genre cinema today. His last film, Trash Fire, tended to exact very strong responses from its audience. Tone-Deaf, which won’t be quite as divisive, is his best yet.
After splitting up with her boyfriend and getting fired, Olive (Amanda Crew) decides it’s time to reconnect with the world. The obnoxious and privileged Millennial lives a charmed life in LA but decides to take a short trip to the country in order to get off the grid. She rents a house from Harvey (Robert Patrick), a middle-aged man determined to exact his revenge on a politically correct and bafflingly modern world.
Tone-Deaf is a wryly knowing and wholly irreverent horror which gleefully revels in being as offensive as it can. However, instead of being crass or disgusting Bates Jr. ensures that the tone is always on point. Indeed, it’s delightfully funny and just keeps on springing surprises. If you have a dark sense of humour and appreciate a rather macabre outlook then Tone-Deaf is a film for you. It’s an absolute riot.
Tone-Deaf screened at Grimmfest.