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Masking Threshold

Written by: Johannes Grenzfurthner / Samantha Lienhard |   Directed by: Johannes Grenzfurthner |  Genre: Horror / Drama

The ending of this movie is terrifying. It’s graphic, it’s gross, and it’s really… REALLY disturbing. Masking Threshold makes no secret of what is coming, but the true horror genre comes through during the movie’s climax. The rest is just a dramatic slow-building film that ramps up the dread scene by scene. Johannes Grenzfurthner and Samantha Lienhard have written a script that could have easily not worked onscreen with the way they put it all together, but they didn’t. Not working is the exact opposite of this movie. Three words. This was awesome.

Known only as the protagonist in the movie, the star is a socially distant man who believes he suffers from some form of hearing ailment that nobody can directly diagnose. As many frustrated people do, he sets about conducting his own experiments in order to cure his illness. Refusing to believe he may have tinnitus or that his condition is psychological, the “protagonist” begins experiments that get increasingly bizarre and horrific. When even his neighbor can’t seem to hear what he does and fails his experiment, things only get worse. Eventually, he’s killing ants and slugs, even birds… convinced he can actually hear them die. Could he be onto some new scientific breakthrough? His experiments and even his thoughts slowly become more twisted until finally… This is one film you definitely don’t want me to spoil for you. Let’s just say that the protagonist’s dreams of multiple grant possibilities end up being the last thing on his mind.

One of the things that makes this movie so cool is that you never really get to see the “protagonist.” You get glimpses of him here and there, but that’s about it. Not only was this a great way to save some coin, but it adds anonymity to the film that’s mondo creepy. This man could be that computer tech that makes house calls. He could be the guy in the office down the hall or even your neighbor. Mr. Protagonist could be anybody, and that is scary as hell. I also liked the “different” way this movie is shown. It’s like a mix between a science show and one of those horror movies where you see everything except the actor. Not only does it work way better than it probably should have, but I was also left wondering this: would this movie have been as effective if it were shot like a normal film? I could picture Jeffrey Combs as the protagonist. I am just putting that out there. Jeffrey Combs luring people to his makeshift lab that would probably look a lot like the lab in Reanimator. I believe Masking Threshold would work in that format, but I am unsure if it would be as effective.

Could the protagonist really have stumbled on something that could change the world? Could change even the way crimes are solved? Is it his duty to humanity to share his findings? Or is he just an unstable man, to begin with, and after a good chunk of time locked away in his home, he has slowly gone insane? For me, it doesn’t really matter because my only job is to report on one thing. If I liked this movie. I loved it and so will you. 4.5 stars, and thank you for reading.

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