The Coen brother’s award winning film No Country for Old Men is one of the eeriest movies I have ever watched. This time I looked at the brother’s film in a different way then their standard style for films, rather then the crazy characters, the twisted plot, or the beautiful cinematography, but the sound design. In No Country for Old Men, the element of sound or should I say lack of sound is used to create a feeling for what the film exactly is, a suspenseful thriller.
Through out the entire film the silence constructed by the sound design makes the film’s environment seem so strong and natural. Rarely if not at all is there a soundtrack played, all the audience hears is the diegetic sound. I often found myself listening to every little detail in the sound sometimes. The quietness led me to anticipate what was going to happen next, whether it would be a gunfight or the next important event in the film.
A perfect example is when the hitman is trailing the stolen briefcase of money he is after in his car. He has a little tracking device to help him locate the money and it beeps, as he gets closer. On screen it switches back and forth from the hitman, to the character that has the money. As he gets closer the beeping sound increases creating anxiety on what is going to happen. The entire time there is no dialogue, just what exactly is happening on screen.
No Country for Old Men is as raw as it gets.