THE SONATA (2018) Reviews and overview


The Sonata is a 2018 horror thriller feature film in which a young violinist unravels her long lost father’s past, triggering dark forces that reach beyond her imagination.

Directed by Andrew Desmond (Galaxy of Horrors segment ‘Entity’) from a screenplay co-written with Arthur Morin, the French-British-Russian-Latvian production stars Rutger Hauer, James Faulkner, Freya Tingley, James Kermack and Simon Abkarian.


After the death of her estranged but famous composer father, young virtuoso violinist Rose (Freya Tingley) inherits the old mansion in which he lived. There, she discovers her father’s final work: a mysterious music score marked with strange symbols.

With the help of Charles (Simon Abkarian), her agent and manager, she deciphers the symbols and, little by little, starts to unlock secrets concerning her father’s past, setting in motion the mechanisms of a plan imagined on the day she was born…


” …instead of exploring the dark ground of its satanic revelations, it decides to go in a dull and cheesy direction and throw all its potential out the window, delivering cheap scares on its way to the lousy climax and very abrupt and unsatisfying ending.” CineMarvellous!

” …it’s important to go into The Sonata understanding that this is not a mass-produced Horror offering that moves at the speed of light, never develops its characters, and splashes plasma on every available surface. This is tension and mood over screams, substance over red stuff. ” Cryptic Rock


“Sketchy CGI and an underwhelming final few moments sprain the ending’s ankle as it hops to a somewhat weak conclusion. But the international flavors, occult intrigue, and overall eeriness maintain a solid buildup […] it nevertheless gets the job done as a competently casual creeper.” Culture Crypt

The Sonata is an impressive production that fully capitalizes on the creepy locations around Latvia’s Cesvaine Palace and Alexis Mainguad’s unsettling classical themes […] Plus, the horror stuff really is scary, thanks to the way it evokes a sense of ancient evil.” J.B. Spins

“It’s a small, novelettish story – owing more to literary forebears (like Lovecraft’s ‘The Music of Erich Zann’ or J. Meade Falkner’s The Lost Stradivarius) than to gothic revival movies like Crimson Peak – well-told, with hints of cosmic horror and a great deal of likeably shivery haunted house atmosphere.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“The obvious comparison to The Sonata is recent Netflix Original The Perfection. But other than classical music being at the forefront, there’s not a whole lot in common. The Sonata doesn’t go to the horrific depths of the Netflix film and instead decides to play things safe, leaving the viewer wanting so much more.” Nerdly

The Sonata certainly succeeds in terms of mood, and has just enough incident to keep you watching, with Tingley and Abkarian convincingly essaying their differently driven roles. For a lot of the movie, though, there’s the sense that Desmond is holding back on the horror, as if addressing the rarefied subject of classic music precluded going full-bore with the scary stuff…” Rue Morgue

” …The Sonata is a gorgeous Gothic mystery with stellar performances backed by a fantastic story reminiscent of Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness (1994). Just using classical music as the vehicle instead of horror novels. For fans of thoughtful, ominous movies, The Sonata is a must-see.” The Scariest Things

“Aided and abetted by Tingley’s performance, the counterbalance provided by Abkarian’s increasingly driven passion to solve the musical puzzle, and the sheer looming presence of Hauer’s shadow, The Sonata picks up the pace with wonderfully modulated suspense. The film is a modern gothic composition that entrances with strange powers and sumptuous majesty.” Screen Anarchy


The Sonata was released theatrically and on-demand in the USA by Screen Media Films on January 10th 2020.

Cast and characters:

  • Rutger Hauer … Richard Marlow
  • James Faulkner … Sir Victor
  • Freya Tingley … Rose
  • Simon Abkarian … Charles
  • Christopher Brand … Notary
  • James Kermack … Sound Engineer
  • Matt Barber … James
  • Catherine Schaub-Abkarian … Thérèse

Production companies:

  • The Project
  • Featuristic Films
  • CTB Film Company
  • Tasse Film
  • Creativity Capital (in association with)

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