An unsettling new horror film is generating word-of-mouth buzz following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
The film in question, from director Christian Tafdrup, is as disturbing as they come.
Titled Speak No Evil, it follows two families – one Danish, the other Dutch – who befriend each other on a holiday in Tuscany. Months later, Bjørn (Morten Burian) and Louise (Sidsel Siem Koch) are invited to Holland by Patrick (Fedja van Huêt) and Karin (Karina Smulders). After all, they got along so well and their child Abel (Marius Damslev) has “missed” their daughter Agnes (Liva Forsberg) so much.
Upon arrival, though, they’re struck by the couple’s odd behaviour – and the film stretches social convention to the extreme and asks to what extent you would go to remain polite in the eyes of your hosts.
There are funny moments to be had in Speak No Evil, mainly due to just how awkward the Danish couple’s situation gets. But the film takes a turn that will undoubtedly leave you hiding behind whatever is close to hand.
Don’t believe me? Entertainment Weekly said the film has a twist “so casually depraved it’s one of the few genuinely shocking endings on screen this year”.
What’s more impressive is that Tafdrup’s film also escapes the flaws suffered by so many horror films. You buy into Bjørn and Louise’s (in hindsight, stupid) decision to say yes because they’re just trying to be polite.
Also, it’s only a few days. As their friend says to them when they’re weighing up their decision to accept the invite: “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Speak No Evil, which was produced by Profile Pictures, will be released on horror streaming service Shudder.
A release date is yet to be announced.
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