Macabre…ish Horror Review: Tone-Deaf





Tone-Deaf, 2019/ 1 hr 27 min


Olive (Amanda Crew) broke up with her terrible boyfriend and was recently fired by her letch of a boss. The she starts having disturbing visions of her dead father. So she decides to book a weekend away.



Still mourning, recent widower, Harvey (Robert Patrick), turns his remote house into an air b&b and rents it to Olive. One thing about Harvey, he has a real problem with Millennials who he sees as lazy and entitled. He rants about them at his wife’s grave that’s marked with a homemade stone.


Olive arrives at the house and meets Harvey who notes that she’s alone and not wearing a ring, even though she said she was coming with her ‘fiance’. He asks for more money that was agreed upon and she sucks it up and pays.


Inside the house, is the neighbor and long time family friend, Agnes (Nancy Linehan Charles), who is held captive by Harvey after she leaves the air b&b and questions his reason for renting the house.


Something is wrong with Harvey, he’s having vivid, bizarre dreams and violent hallucinations. His son, David (Ronnie Gene Blevins), thinks Harvey is losing his mind and wants to put him in a home and Harvey is pissed about it.


Harvey says he’s lived a good life but there’s only one thing he hasn’t done that he really wants to try, killing. He plans to kill Olive and Agnes. But as he goes to kill Olive, he can’t do it and he hears a voice telling him not to do it.


Later, in the shower, Olive finds a huge ball of hair on the floor and Harvey still lurks around the house. He decides to take a passive approach to killing her and catches a spider and puts it in her contact lens case.


That night, Harvey works up to killing Agnes by arguing over his treatment of his wife and his attempt to rewrite history. How he held her captive by threatening her with custody of their son. Harvey insists she was mentally ill and incapable of raising their son on her own. Once he’s worked up, he leaps on Agnes with his knife. He finds killing her, much harder than he thought, in part, because he likes her and finds her to be a good and decent person.


Also, later that night, Olive is startled awake by Harvey’s son, David, who had no idea the house was being rented out. He asked for an odd favor and she asks him to leave.


The next day, Olive goes to the local bar because the solitude is unnerving. Harvey is there too and on the tv is the bad news that another young woman has been found dead. Sitting next to Olive is a newcomer to the area, James (Tate Ellington). Who spikes her drink when she’s not looking and Harvey sees him do it. Olive, fortunately, does not drink her drink but unfortunately invites this man to dinner.


Olive leaves the bar because it’s way to early to drink and is so desperate for interaction that she stops at a ‘car wash’ and the woman who washes her car confesses that she’s her first car wash and confesses that the place is really a front for drugs. And since drugs is all there is to do around here, Olive considers.


Meanwhile, Harvey and James leaves the bar, the former follows the latter to his motel with a sob story, hammer and gloves. After Harvey beats the man to death, he finds a kidnapped and tortured woman in the shower. Harvey takes pity on her before beating her to death too. He uses James’ own tools, to cut up his body and dispose of it in trash bags. Harvey leaves wearing James’ clothes and tosses the bags into bodies of water, sort of, one was retrieved by someone who saw him toss it.


Back at home, Harvey complains to Agnes’ remains, which are still on the bed, about his son who is estranged from him and he insists he’s an ungrateful loser. And Olive, high on acid, argues with the vision of her ex boyfriend and talks to her dead dad (Ray Wise) who committed suicide when she was a child. Her ex later calls to say he misses her while laying next to his new girlfriend and she blows him off.


Harvey is getting more and more disgruntled, grumbling to himself about entitled people. He encounters a homeless man and kills him. Confident in his ability to successfully kill, now, Harvey heads to the air b&b and cuts the power, sets up traps and breaks Olive’s glasses. Then he cranks a portable radio up loud to wake her up and she wakes up.


She tries using her phone but it’s at 1% and she can’t see. She calls her mother, Mona (Dianna Miranda), who doesn’t get the call but immediately gets dressed, knowing something is wrong. Olive goes for her contacts and puts a spider in her eye. And Harvey is right there, lurking. Then he posts up at the bottom of the stairs with an axe.


Olive’s mom is on the way, determined not to let her down but on the way, she and Uriah (Johnny Pemberton), her current hook up, get a flat and get the aid of a stranger.


Olive is doing better than expected in the house of horror after stepping on a nail put on the stairs by Harvey. But he does hack up one of her feet and knocks her out, in the kitchen. She wakes up in his wife’s dress, the one she died in, sitting at the piano. And honestly, Olive is taking this a little too well.


She gets annoyed with his aggravated monologuing and wants to know if he wants her to play. While playing, Harvey sees a monstrous vision of his wife and attacks the piano. Olive is a terrible piano player and even though she’s played her entire life, no one ever told her she was bad until Harvey.


Olive’s mom arrive’s just in time and Uriah catches a tomahawk to the face. Mom unloads her gun into Harvey and Olive finishes him off with a letter opener. All in all, Olive is punctured, loses some veneers, is accidentally shot by her mom, and half her foot was hacked by Harvey. She is in otherwise good spirits while they wait for the ambulance.


This horror comedy was written and directed by Richard Bates Jr.  This is good and Olive has that Elle Woods, Cher Horowitz feel, nothing shakes her, she defaults to unfazed and kind of peppy and that really adds to the humor. This movie does a good job seeming more graphic than it actually is because it shows very little violence. This is not very visually graphic or gory but it doesn’t need to be.