Posts Tagged 'mumbling'

Scary Movies

Still from The Strangers with helpful additions from me

Megan of Hearing Sparks asks are actors mumbling in movies? I can confirm that this is most definitely the case after watching ‘The Strangers’ starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman last night. The plot was simple: an attractive, but rather inaudible couple have a cosy night in at a remote holiday home. They hear some strange noises. They get terrorised by a woman in a Betty Boop mask, and a man with breathing difficulties and a sack on his head. A couple of Mormons stop by with leaflets and find them dead. The End.

In the best silver-screen simulation of Cookie Bite hearing loss in the dark I’ve come across since Seven, both of them mumbled their way through the entire thing illuminated by an energy-saving 20W lightbulb. Unfortunately Scott Speedman’s lips move like a slit in a tennis ball, so are not of much use for giving clues to the dialogue. Ditto hers, which were all puffed up with too much hysterical crying and botox. Ironically, the only people who spoke clearly were the ones with the silly masks on, but they didn’t get to say very much, and the knives wielded above their heads meant they didn’t really need to anyway.

After coming out with a constant stream of “He’s away to get a what?” type enquiries to the spouse, I was most put out when my human subtitling service eventually snapped that he couldn’t make out anything either, despite the volume being cranked right up. Since it’s one of those scary movies that rely on sudden loud noises to give you a fright because the plot’s so thin, the increased volume brought problems of its own. Whilst the spouse was jumping at conventional noises such as sledgehammers going through car windscreens and hands loudly touching the back of shoulders in close-up, etc, I was jumping at the terrifying sound artefacts coming from the hearing aid circuitry every time an electronic noise appeared on the soundtrack.

The movie tagline says Lock the door. Pretend you’re safe. I’d like to add Take your hearing aid out.


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