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For his second feature, the young British director Peter Strickland (Katalin Varga) has created an alternately cheerful and caustic valentine to the low-budget “giallo” horror films that populated Italian cinema throughout the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s. The year is 1976 and a mild-mannered British sound engineer named Gilderoy (the delightful Toby Jones) arrives in Rome to work on the post-synchronized soundtrack to The Equestrian Vortex, a tale of witchcraft and murder set inside an all-girl riding academy. Instead of showing us any scenes from this lurid movie-within-the-movie, however, Strickland keeps his focus squarely on the mayhem within the sound studio itself, as Gilderoy and his team plunge carving knives into fruits and vegetables, actresses try out various shrieks and screams in the recording booth, and a pompous director struts about comparing his schlock to high art. Then, gradually, the line between cinema and reality blurs, and Gilderoy can no longer tell if he is merely working on this movie or is perhaps its very subject. Decked out in fastidious period detail and a keen appreciation for the suggestive power of sound, Berberian Sound Studio is a creepy treat for cinephiles and horror fans alike. Winner: Best Film, Best Director (Peter Strickland) and Best Actor (Toby Jones) at FrightFest 2012!