Tone-Deaf (2019)

“Tone-Deaf” is one of those indie horror-comedies that works well sometimes, but just doesn’t really come together in the end (like “Housebound” or “We Are Still Here”). The main reason to watch this is Robert Patrick’s integral lead performance: The veteran genre stalwart is completely in his element here as an aging boomer slipping into psychosis who decides to act on his resentment for millenials, and he seems to be relishing every minute of it. Unfortunately, co-lead Amanda Crew is saddled with an unlikable character who also just happens to be the protagonist, so there’s just not that much for us to appreciate about her, and we don’t exactly root for her. It’s a shame that writer-director Richard Bates Jr. leans so heavily into the generational angle because it reduces his characters to embodiments of the worst traits of their respective generation, which obscures any point he’s trying to make along the way. That said, it’s definitely got its moments here and there, and Patrick’s performance is worth the price of admission on its own, but overall its flaws are just as loud as its strengths.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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