DEADWAX

SFX - - Reviews -

UK/US Now stream­ing on Shud­der Showrun­ner Graham Reznick Cast Han­nah Gross, Evan Gam­ble, Tracy Perez, Dohn Nor­wood

Any­one in the Venn di­a­gram in­ter­sec­tion of “vinyl junkie”, “HP Love­craft fan” and “digs a Twin Peak vibe” will find this Shud­der Orig­i­nal worth cue­ing up for a spin.

It fol­lows Etta Pryce (Han­nah Gross), who’s hired to track down the Lyt­ton Lac­quer, a test press­ing re­puted to cause the death of any­one who lis­tens to it. Along the way she teams up with cop Len Perry (Evan Gam­ble), hor­ri­bly af­fected af­ter catch­ing a snatch of the record’s runout groove (or “deadwax”).

Writer/di­rec­tor/co-edi­tor/ sound de­signer/caterer (prob­a­bly) Graham Reznick knows his onions when it comes to this sub­cul­ture, mak­ing smart use of things like ma­trix num­bers and stir­ring in con­cepts from the sphere of sonic weaponry to ex­plore the idea of realms ex­ist­ing beyond nor­mal hu­man com­pre­hen­sion, rather in the vein of Stu­art Gor­don’s 1986 flick From Beyond. Cool score, too.

How­ever, it’s hard to care about the cold fish Pryce’s com­mit­ment is­sues. The se­ries can look cheap (with, say, dark empty rooms stand­ing in for a po­lice sta­tion). Key mo­ments fail to land be­cause the char­ac­ters un­der-re­act. Flick­er­ing lights are over-used (no won­der there’s an epilepsy seizure warn­ing). And aside from the all-flash­back part four, it feels like a two-hour fea­ture chopped up into chunks of 11-18 min­utes. Ian Berri­man

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