The Reel Review
The Block Island Sound is a Netflix genre mashup, one part psychological thriller and one part sci-fi/horror, set on Rhode Island’s sparsely populated Block Island. After the family’s patriarch dies, his adult son/housemate starts to exhibit the same increasingly erratic, disturbing behavior, just as there are an increasing number mass fish and bird die-offs on the island.
Kevin and Matthew McManus, the brother writing duo behind the Netflix series American Vandal, return to their native Rhode Island for this stylish thriller/horror. They team up with their sister Michaela McManus (Law & Order: SVU; One Tree Hill) and Chris Sheffield (The Maze Runner), who are both convincing as the siblings who care for one another, but whose relationship has been strained by past history and their father’s recent death. As the father, Neville Archambault gives terrifically creepy vibes.
Viewers expecting a fast-paced creature feature will be very disappointed. This is a psychological slow burn, exploring the affects of dementia as well as a series of scientific and science fiction-based explanations for the mysterious occurrences taking place. A spooky score and some solid camerawork helps heighten the tension, culminating in a pretty trippy, thought-provoking finalé.
• Michaela McManus is married to Mike Daniels, who was a writer for The Vampire Diaries and One Tree Hill, in which Michaela appeared in the recurring role of book editor Lindsay Strauss. They have two sons.
• Kevin and Matthew McManus were nominated for the 2018 Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie of Special, for American Vandal.
• The creepy sound throughout the film is actually audio of Kevin McManus’ infant daughter, just drastically slowed down for effect.