Masking Threshold (2021) 

A man takes time off from work to do experiments on his own to figure out his hearing issue or at least reproduce something that he heard once. During these experiments, he goes deeper and deeper into his obsession and perhaps even a little more. 

From story by Johannes Grenzfurthner and written by Samantha Lienhard, Masking Threshold is directed by Johannes Grenzfurthner who takes this film makes it something unusual, yet appealing. It’s an odd mix of selfie videos with voice over by actor Ethan Haslam where he is shown doing experiments, collecting data, and showing a bit more as times goes by. There is everything in here from research papers to experiments to what may seem like endless monologue. This will not be appealing to some folx looking for a straight forward film, but for those who are a bit ready to go with something unusual, get involved in a story that takes its time and doesn’t have that many twists or turns.  

The film is shot in a simple manner, but it includes many dynamic elements thrown in there to make it something more than just watching a guy do experiments and listen to his inner monologue. Of course, there are other actors involved, but most of them have very minimal parts, some of them only showing up in photos and in memories. This means that the whole film is all about the lead and his thoughts. This leads to needing a strong voice over and actor Ethan Haslam does great work. He makes the whole film sound good and like something the viewer might want to keep with. His voice guides the film and the viewer through everything happening on and off the screen and through the whole process of his experiments.  

The visual side of things here is handled by cinematography by Florian Hofer who knows how to focus on just the right thing and making it the center of everything for however long it is on the screen. The editing here is handled by Hofer and Grenzfurthner, keeping things tight and truly within the vision.  

Masking Threshold is a more experimental film and one that requires attention be paid to it while it seems to be going in all kinds of different directions. For those willing to pay attention and really watch this film, it leads to an interesting payoff and feels like a new thing, a new style, something they’ve not seen that many times before, if at all. Masking Threshold is entertaining in an odd way and comes off as a bit of an experiment itself, something that is quite fitting with the story at hand.