SPEAK NO EVIL movie poster | ©2022 Shudder/IFC Midnight

SPEAK NO EVIL movie poster | ©2022 Shudder/IFC Midnight

Rating: Not Rated
Stars: Morten Burian, Sidsel Siem Koch, Fedja van Huêt, Karina Smulders, Liva Forsberg, Marius Damslev, Hichem Yacoubi
Writers: Christian Tafdrup & Mads Tafdrup
Director: Christian Tafdrup
Distributor: Shudder/Profile Pictures
Release Date: September 9, 2022

There is a shot at approximately one hour and seven minutes into SPEAK NO EVIL that lets us know exactly what’s happening here. To be clear, most viewers will already know from the advertising that SPEAK NO EVIL is a horror thriller.

The question building over the first two-thirds is, what sort of horror thriller subgenre does it embody? We have ample time to consider the matter, as the earlier portions of SPEAK NO EVIL unfold as a dramedy of manners. We begin in a car with a dirty windshield, driving along a dirt road at night. A Volvo station wagon pulls up outside an isolated house. Then a cut to daytime. Danish couple Bjørn (Morten Burian) and Louise (Sidsel Siem Koch) and their little girl Agnes (Liva Forsberg) are on vacation in Italy. Here they meet fellow vacationers from the Netherlands, Patrick (Fedja van Huêt) and Karin (Karina Smulders) and their little boy Abel (Marius Darnsley). Patrick explains that Abel has trouble speaking, due to having been born with an incomplete tongue. The couples hit it off. A few months later, Bjørn and Louise get a letter from Patrick and Karin, inviting them and Agnes to come visit for the weekend. Louise is a little hesitant, as they don’t know the other family all that well, but Bjørn is enthusiastic. Someone even asks, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

SPEAK NO EVIL takes its time getting to the answer. There are a series of micro-aggressions between the couples that could be cultural or idiosyncratic. Then, finally, we get to the big reveal shot, and things go more or less as we expect. Because it takes so long to announce itself, it’s probably an unfair spoiler to specify SPEAK NO EVIL’s subgenre. This much can be said: It is genuinely disturbing. It goes somewhere that even most horror films don’t go.

It is also the kind of filmmaking that will make some audience members want to argue, a lot. Director Christian Tafdrup and his co-screenwriter (and brother) Mads Tafdrup are adroit at depicting moments of social awkwardness that can turn in an instant from well-meaning to aggrieved and back again. Tafdrup also has some extraordinarily potent visuals, with a few shots that are gut punches. He elicits excellent work from the actors, particularly with Burian’s thoughtful, emotionally raw work as Bjørn.

However, SPEAK NO EVIL literally states a message in the dialogue, late in the running time. There are a number of ways to interpret it. It’s easy to agree with the idea of standing up clearly to somebody else’s boundary-pushing. But, given what we learn about the characters, there’s seems to be a big political statement lurking here. It’s hard to know if this is deliberate, or simply comes with the territory. This reviewer experienced some instinctive intellectual pushback at certain plot and behavioral elements.

This is possibly as a self-protective reaction to the aforementioned disturbing aspects. Alternatively, it could be a struggle with logic issues that might be less noticeable if the tone were less naturalistic. One can’t deny the skill of SPEAK NO EVIL’s makers and their commitment to its darkness. Other aspects are up for grabs. Note: The dialogue in SPEAK NO EVIL is in English, Danish, and Dutch. For those watching at home, at least on the review screener, closed-captioning must be turned on in order to get subtitles for the Danish dialogue. The Dutch dialogue is not subtitled.

Related: Movie Review: BARBARIAN
Related: Movie Review: BURIAL

Related: Movie Review: FALL
Related: Movie Review: MANEATER
Related: Movie Review: GLORIOUS
Related: Movie Review: OF THE DEVIL
Related: Movie Review: CAMPING TRIP
Related: Movie Review: THE DEAD GIRL IN APARTMENT 03
Related: Movie Review: BULLET TRAIN
Related: Movie Review: BODIES BODIES BODIES
Related: Movie Review: RESURRECTION
Related: Movie Review: NOPE
Related: Movie Review: H.P. LOVECRAFT’S WITCH HOUSE
Related: Movie Review: THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER

Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Movie Review: SPEAK NO EVIL


Related Posts:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Increase your website traffic with Attracta.com

Dr.5z5 Open Feed Directory

bottom round