Radio warns of a deadly air borne toxin that is spreading in the nearby area where a family of a gay couple and their son lives. The family has problems with domestic abuse and their own drama, and are completely unaware of the dangers that awaits.
You don't go into a new movie by Sean Brown and have the same sort of expectations that you do when you go into a, say, Martin Scorsese movie. You know pretty much what Martin will give you. This goes for most filmmakers. With Sean Brown and creators in his league (indie filmmakers who just don't give a fuck about conventional filmmaking), you just can't figure it out before actually having seen it. With "Kakoon" and "Boo Demon vs. La Cerveza de Muerte" he did, however, make me certain that his movies are weird. I didn't expect his third movie, "Radio Silence", to be the least weird of the bunch.
"Radio Silence" mixes family drama with radio drama quite literally. The story is Sean Brown's best so far, which might not say too much considering how flipped out his past work is. But maybe that's exactly why "Radio Silence" stands out: I can follow what's going on very easily. It's a movie about a gay couple and their son. There's domestic abuse between them and their teenage son is just trying to make it by. Meanwhile, on the radio, there's talk of something lethal that has been spreading through the air, and it urges the population to get to safety.
Surprisingly I didn't have to bang my head into the wall just to figure out how to explain the plot to you. It actually is that simple. Does simple mean bad? Not at all! I'd say that this is Sean Brown's strongest work so far, and that's all because it's interesting for a few reasons. First of all, it's Sean Brown being slightly more conventional with the story (but it has a few absurd turns). Secondly, most of the plot of the lethal toxin is told through a radio, which is a great idea to execute something grand as the end of the world on a tiny budget.
The things that keep "Radio Silence" from being a great movie is perhaps the same reasons that it's a good movie. It's a Sean Brown movie with more of a simple story. Sean Brown's style of filmmaking doesn't lend itself to easily understood art. Video and audio are both of low quality, there's strange camera angles, random inserts, weird soundtracks, heavily filtered, quirky comedy thrown in at the most random times, and semi-serious/semi-give-no-shit acting... The movie is entertaining in similar ways as Sean Brown's previous work, and he's building up quite a filmography of his weirdness. It's a peculiar taste that isn't specifically for me, which I have said before.
Mre than even I feel torn about Sean Brown's work. If anything, this does show a bigger evolution between works than I saw between "Kakoon" and "Boo Demon vs. La Cerveza de Muerte". The change I am talking about is not that he is putting himself in line to become a conventional filmmaker. Not at all. This is an easier movie, absolutely, but that could be because he has evolved as a writer too. I think that "Radio Silence" could work equally well as the third movie you watch by him, as it does as your first entry into his world, so if you are curious then seek it out!