Sinphony 2022 Review

As an anthology film, Sinphony has different directors for each segment: Sebastien Bazile (“Symphony of Horror”), Haley Bishop (“Forever Young”), Nichole Carlson (“Maternally Damned”), Wes Driver (“The Keeper”), Kimberley Elizabeth (“Do Us Part”), Michael Galvan (“Symphony of Horror”), Steven Keller (“Ear Worm”), Baraka Noel (“Rose Motel”), Mark A. Pritchard (“Limited Edition”), Jason Ragosta (“Mother Love”), and Jason Wilkinson (“Tabitha”).

However, one of its unique features is the concept behind it: Conceived and curated entirely on the popular social media platform Clubhouse, Sinphony features a group of international filmmakers each exploring a character dealing with a tragedy caused by a supernatural entity.

Transitions between certain segments could use some work, cutting rather suddenly from one to the next without a signal of any kind, leaving the viewer disoriented before settling into the next set of characters and story. However, the rest tend to use sketches that reference the next plot.

Sinphony 2022 Poster

United by psychological stress, each plot has characters enduring a strain, adding to the intensity and atmosphere. While some struggle with grounded trauma like turning a ‘dreaded’ 30 years old’, others have a greater intensity that drives the subjects’ fear. However, they’re all presented equally in the eyes of each protagonist, granting a relatable tone that grounds them despite the supernatural happenings.

The quality of segments runs the gamut, whether it is visual effects, writing, or overall presentation. Yet, like with all anthologies, there is sure to be something for everyone. Some aimed for terror, others a more tongue-in-cheek comedic dread.

While all are in the English language, it was refreshing to see a variety of cast and origins represented. The UK short, “Limited Edition” functioned as a stand-out in the collection, with the most unique premise. Initially, the focus appears to be on an electric car which is much desired. However, this story is far from Christine, when a forbidden book that can collect moments of time enters the plot. 

“Do Us Part” was another that will stick in audiences’ memories, working from different perspectives of a warped marriage and loss. Through effective acting, the opening scene functions on so many levels after the first reveal that upon rewinding and reviewing I was even more delighted with it. With a few shorts as motherhood themed, “Maternally Damned” takes the cake as the winner, making many women reconsider pregnancy. Vampires may be alluring, but “Maternally Damned” takes another approach at what it could mean to sleep with one, and it’s not a fantasy for most. The consequences in this case are everlasting. Minimal in its use of special effects but impactful nonetheless, it further cemented my fear of pregnancy.

Sinphony Window

Most of the scoring is diegetic throughout the film. Yet the credits at the end make wonderful use of the sparse pieces used, having remixed them in theme with each story. It’s a treat worth watching through to the end.

Examining viewers are rewarded with subtle connected threads woven throughout the stories, but one will have to be patient in order to allow them to reveal themselves later in the film. In the end, this is revealed to be Vol. 1, with more to surely come in the future.

The acting by a larger cast amongst all of the shorts wasn’t exceptional, but it sufficed to carry the film. No actor made it drag, yet it was difficult to recall performances that explicitly impressed. However, Alysse Fozmark did well with the role of a dying woman, carrying a short (“Tabitha”) almost entirely by herself within the confines of a car, quite a challenging part. Another strong exception was Emma Boyle as Poppy (starring in “Forever Young”), balancing her cynical side with a desire to reconcile her reality with her perceptions. 

Sinphony doesn’t hit all the buttons, but it has a unique concept that isn’t wasted. While it doesn’t hold up to the golden standard of Trick r’ Treat, fans of horror anthologies like Holidays and Bad Candy will enjoy another addition to their collections. Check it out if you like distinctive storylines, drama-led characters, psychological duress, and a fun mix of content.

SINPHONY: A Clubhouse Horror Anthology is Available in Theaters and on VOD/Digital Platforms on October 21, 2022

 

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