Dawn of the Deaf

When a strange sound wipes out the hearing population, a small group of deaf people must band together to survive.

Genre: Horror

Length: 11:54

Free To View

4 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Douglas Cox,

Director/s : Rob Savage, 

Writer/s : Rob Savage, 

Actor/s : -, 


Living deaf

The film is about six deaf people in the hour leading up to “The Pulse”. Given the title of the film, it’s hardly a spoiler to say that The Pulse is going to be what turns all who hear it into zombies.

Firstly, it’s a superbly made film, with director Rob Savage showing sophistication and maturity, and with production values worthy of a feature – over 200 people are credited as zombies. It won a whole load of awards and festival selections, including Sundance and the BFI London Film Festival.

The punning title implies a comedy-horror. But it isn’t. It doesn’t even seem to be a horror film at first, although the moment we see Sam’s signer father lying to her mother about what she signed, is as chilling as any horror scene you can name.

And we have two young deaf women in a relationship, from which one appears to want out. They argue in a subway, and the camera circles around them. In a directorial flourish worthy of Danny Boyle, the subtitles are cleverly placed in the empty space between them, as if hanging in the air, so their bodies obscure the words. We can’t see heir hands signing, we can’t read half of it either, and it brilliantly conveys their fractured conversation, like mumblecore for deaf people.

They argue and reconcile, oblivious to the pulse and its effect on the pedestrians around them. Unlike another deaf character, Kevin, making his first public speech, seeing his audience hold their heads against the pulse. Seeing them die. Only to rise again…

The logline is actually misleading. This plays like the first ten minutes of a feature. Now we need to know what happens next.