Speak No Evil

September 8, 202270/1001315 min
Starring
Morten Burian, Sidsel Siem Koch, Fedja van Huêt, Karina Smulders
Written by
Mads Tafdrup and Christian Tafdrup
Directed by
Christian Tafdrup
Run Time
1h 37min
Release Date
September 9th, 2022
Overall Score
Rating Summary

                     Family vacations can be the worst of times or the best of times and usually not much in-between. Sometimes those who venture out meet other travelers that they feel a connection with. It is through one of these connections that maybe your vacation causes you to make some new friends. That is what happens with Bjørn ( Morten Burian), Louise ( Sidsel Siem Koch), and their daughter Agnes ( Liva Forsberg), as they meet a couple with a son that makes their vacation better.

                   After a fun time in Italy, Bjørn and his family return home to an existence that can get pretty monotonous. I mean you can only go to dinners with people you don’t like only so often before you would rather hit your head against the wall than see them again. It is that existence to keep in mind that when Bjørn and Louise get a postcard from Patrick (Fedja van Huêt) and Karin (Karina Smulders) to come visit, so they jump at the chance to go. You see Patrick and Karin, as well as their son Abel ( Marius Damslev) is that couple they met from their trip, and a weekend in the Dutch countryside sounds like a good time. Things though start to feel a little strange pretty early, including the host seemly ignoring Louise reminding them she is a vegetarian, while they are making her try meat. Things only go further south, to the point where Louise has had enough and wakes Bjørn up early to make him head home. This leads to a confrontation with Patrick and Karin about not saying bye before leaving as they convince them to stay.

Written by Mads Tafdrup and Christian Tafdrup, the latter also directing , See No Evil  refrains from using cheap jump scares or supernatural elements and goes the interpersonal horror route instead.  Tafdrup does an excellent job at building a pretty sinister atmosphere that makes it pretty obvious things are not going to end well for our Danish friends. Everything builds including the discomfort level of both Bjørn and Louise and just as important us the audience, as they try and not be rude even as they ignore clear signals that tell them to run.

              Speak No Evil  is a film about how we want others to see us, as Patrick feeds on Bjørn desire to break from his normal life and lure him and his family into his web. Although the first two acts pull you in, even if it at times it makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s the third act that surprises and quite simply horrifies you. It is that final act that, while disturbing also serves as some great fodder for some great conversations after the film ends. Speak No Evil  has a lot on its mind and by having its feet planted firmly in both the horror and in social satire realms and it finds a way to deliver the goods and the wicked.

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