How important are sound effects to a film? Well, pretty important if you are making a film like Everest, which relies on its spectacle to draw in viewers, with sounds and sights working together to sell the overall impression of danger on the world’s tallest mountain.
The boom- and smash-free footage—seen in an Everest clip that was inexplicably submitted to the BBC sans sound effects—turns the climbers’ supposedly gripping danger into something more laughable. As Josh Brolin falls off his makeshift ladder bridge, his moans and calls for help lack immediacy because we don’t hear the sounds of the mountain avalanche that scared him in the first place, the noise of the ice creaking that might signify imminent falling, or the whooshing of wind at high altitudes. Instead, we just hear the actors’ voices, which, when isolated, sound more like a parody of panic than the real thing.
[h/t to reader Chet R.]