The Unspoken aka The Haunting of Briar House – Canada, 2015 – reviews

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[Total: 8   Average: 2.8/5]


The Unspoken is a 2016 Canadian horror feature film written and directed by Sheldon Wilson (The Hollow; Scarecrow; Red: Werewolf Hunter; Mothman). It is also known as The Haunting of Briar House.

The movie stars Jodelle Ferland (The Tall Man; The Cabin in the Woods; Case 39), Sunny Suljic, Lochlyn Munro, Fulvio Cecere and Michael Rogers.


In 1997 the close-knit Anderson family vanished from their rural home without a trace without an explanation. No bodies were ever found and for seventeen years the house has remained undisturbed. Until now…


Reviews [click links to read more]:

“The opening is particularly strong, setting up a haunted house story in a way that actually gives it more of a backstory and feel of place. Less effective is the local rednecks who’ve hidden drugs in the now years later and still abandoned house of notoriety sub-plot.” SFF World

“The whole thing is damn good, solid. There is not a bad performance by an actor, not even a mediocre one, and Wilson’s writing defies convention while feeding the horror fan’s appetite just enough to leave us wanting more. This is no Insidious et al picture with a jump-scare quota, and staying loyal to the Polanski style, never does the horror really leave the realm of reality.” UK Horror Scene

” …a pretty bad film, but I can’t deny there is entertainment value in it just based off of its ludicrous plot twists and over the top finale. Oh, and the dead dog biting of the guys jaw off, that was pretty cool. So should you see it? […] if you like your movies without jarring tonal shifts and ridiculous twists, then probably not.” Addicted to Horror Movies


“I actually started playing Count the Checklist, hitting ten before I got to the title sequence and you know what? It was a damn sight more entertaining than actually watching the movie … In the last twenty minutes the filmmakers remembered to put something else in and at that stage Unspoken goes completely off the rails.” Vulturehound

“Sheldon Wilson, who wrote and directed, puts forth a game effort to tell a cohesive story and so do the actors … What’s missing, however, is an authentically unnerving atmosphere that could breed fear or suspense, leaving The Unspoken to flail about in search of scares.” Screen Anarchy

” …an arduous experience which seemed to pin so much on the graphic nature of its conclusion on entertaining the audience. Maybe for some the violent nature of someone being thrown in the air by something unseen will impress but for me it didn’t. Oh and just for good measure the movie then tries to be clever by showing that Briar House is 14 miles away from Amityville, it doesn’t work.” The Movie Scene


“In terms of horror, the film’s strongest scenes take place during the home invasion, but this is the kind of scripting where somebody thinks up a brutal way to maim or kill and then assumes they can hang a whole story on it. It’s desperate stuff. Meanwhile, characters come and go but only seem to matter when they’re onscreen.” Eye for Film

“There is no means enough finesse in this filmmaking for its story to be so conventional, something that directors like James Wan can get away with through pure directing. If Wilson is trying to prove he can make considerably bland horror, he has succeeded.” Roger Ebert

“Events build to a climax and then that twist, which will probably surprise you, even if it might not be entirely satisfactory. And that’s the problem with Unspoken as a whole – there are some good bits here, and lots of promise, but it doesn’t really hang together.” House of Mortal Cinema

“Plenty of suspense but no real ‘surprise’. The Haunting of Briar House risks being banished to the haunted house genre graveyard. Worse still, I don’t think anyone will care.” Step into Film


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