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“THE SONATA” Mysterious and Haunting




Review by John Delia

A cool film that mixes music with fear, The Sonata takes you into a world surrounded by evil and death. Nicely written to move along at a slow pace, the production, location and the sets play a big part in this mystery for fans of the genre. It’s the kind of movie that you can relax at home alone or with a loved one on a dark evening with nowhere to go. But beware, The Sonata is a cunning film that’s best served with company.

Estranged from her father Richard Marlowe (Rutger Hauer), a famous music composer, Rose Fisher (Freya Tingley), a primo violinist, finds out dad has died. At a meeting with her talent agent Charles (Simon Abkarian) along with a Notary, she’s told that she is the one and only heiress to his fortune. Since there is no will, she inherits everything including the copyrights to Marlowe’s entire body of work and his castle-like property in France.

Freya Tingley as Rose in The Sonata from Screen Media Films

Following the meeting, Rose tells her longtime manager Charles, that she has been contacted by a well-known New York firm that wants to represent her. After some off handed discord between the two, Charles leaves her with a warning that she is not “that” good and will be absorbed by the talent firm for their own gain. Distraught over the current disagreement Rose goes to France to see what she has inherited. While the secluded 11th century mansion is in disorder from being vacant, it’s still livable.

The long time housekeeper Theresa (Catherine Schaub-Abkarian) visits Rose and tells her of Marlowe’s awful death and quits with Rose now alone. When she goes through Marlowe’s desk and finds some pages of music and plays the haunting sonata on her violin, she realizes that it’s a masterpiece. She sends copies to Charles to see if they are valuable and he comes to the Chateau. Thus begins a mystery that leads to terror when Rose starts to hear voices and movement around the mansion.

Freya Tingley as Rose in The Sonata from Screen Media Films

Director and writer Andrew Desmond moves his film along at a slow pace making sure the audience knows the personalities of his characters and then starts to interject unusual symbols and spirits. As his film takes shape with more information on Marlowe’s work, we find there’s more than meets the eye as Desmond sets a deeply eerie mood to his malevolent story.

While the mansion itself is a character in the film, it’s the players that make everything plausible and provide the slow burn of impending terror. The two protagonists, Rose and Charles put on a good show revealing clues to the importance of the sonata and then how the symbolism makes the magic from the music.

Freya Tingley as Rose in The Sonata from Screen Media Films

Simon Abkarian starts off very businesslike as the agent and manager to his violinist prodigy then changes as he faces Rose’s dilemma. As he develops his character we find out a lot about the man and the growing envy of his new found shot at riches. He’s a father like figure to Rose at first, but gets possessed as he digs into the profitable possibilities.

As the young woman who has inherited millions, Freya Tingley shows Rose’s determination to handle her own life. But, as things start to get out of hand, she welcomes Charles to the French mansion as a protector. As she reaches some of the answers to the mystery, she quickly realizes that she may be stepping into something extremely wicked and that maybe Charles is not who she thought he was.


“Behind the Scenes” Director Andrea Desmond talks about his film and gives a synopsis in his words. He takes you on the set during some of the film shots as cameras shoot scenes. The Producer Laurent Fumeron also talks about how Desmond wanted a beautiful look as we see the opulent sets. Janis Eglitis the Director of Photography gets introduced. Actor Freya Tingley who plays Rose talks about her violin playing and how she had to prepare for it. Others adding comments are actor Simon Abkarian and the crew who talk about locations, storyboards, special effects and many elements of the production.

The Sonata has not been rated by the MPAA, but does contain language, brutality and violence. So be advised when deciding to let allow immature children see the horror flick. It is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A good film for those that like evil with their mystery. (4 out of 5 stars).

Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Freya Tingley, Simon Abkarian, James Faulkner, Rutger Hauer, Catherine Schaub-Abkarian, Matt Barber,
Directed and written by: Andrew Desmond
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
MPAA Rating: Not Rated, language, brutality, some violence
Running Time: 1 hr. 28 min.
Video Release Date: March 3, 2020
Original Theatrical Release Date: January 10, 2020
Language: English
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray
Audio: Stereo Surround Sound 5.1 and 2.0
Video: Aspect Ration 2.40:1
Subtitles: Closed Captions
Distributed by: Screen Media Films
Released on: Blu-ray and DVD

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