Monday, September 12, 2022

Speak No Evil (2022)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Speak No Evil (2022)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Length: 1h 37min
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Profile Pictures, OAK Motion Pictures, Danish Film Institute, FilmFyn, Netherlands Film Production Incentive, TrustNordisk, Night Edge Pictures, September Film, ADS Service, Estinfilm, Europos Kinas JSC, Koch Films, Lev Cinemas, Nordisk Film Distribution, Shudder, Sidus Fnh, The Reset Collective
Director: Christian Tafdrup
Writer: Christian Tafdrup, Mads Tafdrup
Actors: Morten Burian, Sidsel Siem Koch, Fedja van Huêt, Karina Smulders, Liva Forsberg, Marius Damslev, Hichem Yacoubi
Blurb from IMDb: A Danish family visits a Dutch family they met on a holiday. What was supposed to be an idyllic weekend slowly starts unraveling as the Danes try to stay polite in the face of unpleasantness.

Selina’s Point of View:
This is the exact kind of movie that I hate to watch.
Speak No Evil has a decent premise, and the ending is bleak and disturbing. On its own, that would be fine. I have enjoyed quite a few bleak endings in my time and, in many circumstances, prefer it. I usually find it more realistic than everything coming up rainbows and sunshine. Maybe that’s my New York cynicism showing, but it tends to be the way I lean.
The problem is that it takes an entire hour for Speak No Evil to move from drama to horror.
I cannot even fully explain how much effort it took to keep my concentration throughout the whole thing.

I don’t know what the creators were thinking. They overlaid some tense music on top of uncomfortable, but totally mundane, scenes and decided that would build the thrills necessary to get the audience to the payoff. It didn’t work for me. If anything, it felt cringy.
Audiences need more from a horror than what Speak No Evil gave. Especially with a climax as disturbing and horrific as this one. The rest of the film needs to have the foreshadowing and creepiness that prepares people. The way this flick goes, the ending seems like it should be from a completely different movie.
Critics are loving Speak No Evil. I think audience scores are going to reflect a different perspective. Once the hype clears, there’ll be nothing left to carry this one forward.
Of course, you can always see for yourself. Speak No Evil premieres on Shudder, September 15.

Cat’s Point of View:
The credits for Speak No Evil have concluded, and I’ve found myself staring at the screen while fumbling for words to process what I’ve just watched. Disturbing, shocking, and horrific would be the top 3 words that come to mind.
While I scramble to mush my shattered pieces together again, I should note that while Speak No Evil is listed as unrated, it should be considered a hard R-rating. There are child actors within the production, but this was definitely not a kid-friendly movie.

I’ll be honest, I don’t think I gave Speak No Evil enough credit while I was considering the films to list in September’s Top 20 list. I was moderately confused by the trailer we’d watched during the stream, and so it was generally edged out of contention by the volume of good material hitting screens this month. The second iteration of the trailer made a little more sense and set up the horrific and jarring events a bit better, though danced dangerously close to spoilers.
Speak No Evil had one of the most hard-to-watch endings that I’ve seen in a long while. Pair that with a simple, but haunting motive for the antagonists and you have the recipe for a very successful horror movie.
Fans of psychological horror would get a lot of mileage out of Speak No Evil.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 81%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – 80%
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score –6.9/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 1.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating 4/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
Movie Trailer:

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