Main cast: Michaela McManus (Audry), Chris Sheffield (Harry), Jim Cummings (Dale), Ryan O’Flanagan (Paul), Heidi Neidermeyer (Jen), Willie C Carpenter (Chief Rogers), Matthew Lawler (Officer McGarry), Matilda Lawler (Emily), and Neville Archambault (Tom)
Directors: Kevin McManus and Matthew McManus
Hmm, Block Island, according to the website of the Block Island Times, is a lovely place for fishing, canoeing, getting married, and more. So yes, it’s a real place, and from all accounts, a great place to go once the coof restrictions are over and done with. The Block Island Sound movie, on the other hand, tells me that this place is also rife with spooky phenomena that drive the locals crazy and even homicidal.
It all begins with a fisherman, Tom, who wakes up one day while fishing at sea to find his dog missing—only the leash remains. His behavior since then becomes increasingly erratic and even sinister, all the while sporting a dead-eyed blank expression on his face. His son Harry is concerned but doesn’t know what to do. Unknown to him at that time, Tom also hears an ominous sound that drives his erratic behavior—there’s a reason why the title of this movie is what it is, heh. Meanwhile, dead fish are washing up on the shore and birds are behaving in unusual manner, prompting Harry’s sister and her colleague from the EPA to drop by and investigate. Of course she brings her daughter along, because which little girl doesn’t love frolicking in an island full of dead things and worse, after all.
Really, what is happening to Block Island?
If all this sounds like a bumper-sized episode of The X-Files, yes, it kind of is. There is no monster or gore here, just mounting paranoia and people becoming increasingly deranged over time. Is the sound these people hear due to what a shrink in this movie calls hypersensitivity to electromagnetic waves generated by the Block Island Wind Farm? (Yes, I check and such a place really does exist.) The alternative is that mysterious forces may be at play here, for who knows what reason.
The cast for the most part is fine, and the kid actor is kind enough to avoid being too grating and annoying on screen. The pacing is slow, but fine, with solid build-up and all.
By the end of this one, the viewer will have a good idea of what is happening to people like Tom, but not many solid answers to other questions that pop up in their heads while they are watching the movie. This is not always a bad thing, of course, and in this case, the unanswered questions help to lend an air of sinister mystery to the whole movie-watching experience. Maybe it’s not such a good idea to visit Block Island after all! At the same time, though, the number of unexplained mysteries also mean that the payoff doesn’t feel as satisfying as it could have been. It’s like having a meal that tastes good, but the portion is small enough that I still feed tad hungry later.
Anyway, this is a solid movie. It’s not the most exciting or edifying movie I’d come across, but it still manages to be a perfectly fine diversion for a slow and lazy day.