Grimmfest 2019 Film Feature - Tone-Deaf

Runtime: 87 mins

Directed by: #RichardBatesJr. Starring: #RobertPatrick, #AmandaCrew, #KimDelaney

Grimmfest Feature by: Darren Tilby



Synopsis: A young woman decides to spend a few quiet days in the countryside after losing her job and having her latest complicated relationship implode. Unfortunately the old-fashioned widower she rents a house from is in the middle of a psychopathic breakdown.


Grimmfest say: Grimmfest favourite Ricky Bates, Jr makes a welcome return with a typically esoteric and mischievous take on clashing cultural values in Trump’s increasingly disUnited States, pitching a snottily entitled millennial from Los Angeles against a deranged rural baby boomer out to Destroy All Snowflakes in the name of Making America Great Again. Boasting blistering dialogue, and anchored by winning lead performances from the generationally mismatched antagonists, the film’s laconic, freewheeling narrative style, full of beautifully judged incidental detail, recalls classic 70s American cinema at its most engaging. Except when it throws a curveball of casual cruelty, just to keep things challenging. All this plus Bates regulars Ray Wise and AnnaLynne McCord in characteristically eccentric cameos, means it’s likely to be one of this year’s hottest tickets. And deservedly so.


What I'm Expecting: With Tone-Deaf I’m hoping the horror element comes mostly from the uncomfortable relevance with which it plays out. But the film will have to have its wits about it; it’s not enough to just be cruel or nasty. To really succeed, Tone-Deaf needs to cleverly satirise the current political climate, and convert that to a horror setting––not much of a stretch of the imagination. I suppose Tone-Deaf could have inflexions of Psycho or The Shining to it, which certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing Robert Patrick (a criminally underappreciated actor) take on another villainous role.