‘It wasn’t supposed to escape’
Don’t Speak aka Silent Place is a 2020 British science fiction horror feature film about a family trapped by a monster in an isolated countryside cottage.
Written, co-produced and directed by Scott Jeffrey (Cupid; Clown Doll; The Bad Nun; writer of The House on Elm Lake; Unhinged; Fox Trap; et al), the Proportions Productions movie stars Stephanie Lodge (Witches of the Water), Ryan Davies, Jake Watkins and Will Stanton.
Upon arriving at their grandparent’s farm, a family soon realise the entire town has been taken out by an unknown monster. And soon, they become the creature’s prey…
Silent Place was released in the USA on DVD on March 10, 2020, by Uncork’d Entertainment.
Welcome to the world of Scott Jeffrey. Just as US company The Asylum makes mockbuster movies of major Hollywood hits, Brits Scott and fellow Proportion Productions producer Rebecca Matthews cash-in on whatever horror trend they perceive might catch the attention of punters by using a similar name and some eye-catching artwork. Thus, Mr Jeffrey and co. have recently given us Clown Doll; The Bad Nun; The Mummy Reborn and Pet Graveyard (match them with the titles they seek to exploit).
Silent Place or Don’t Speak (it seems they are hedging their bets on the best title) is obviously an attempt to cash-in on mega-hit A Quiet Place (a rather basic tale that unfortunately fell apart on closer inspection) and its imminent sequel. Anyone has seen any of Scott Jeffrey’s other movies will doubtless be unsurprised to know that this threadbare production fails miserably to capture any of the tension or suspense that its bigger budget inspiration engendered. A few gory scenes do not make up for a lack of genuine atmosphere.
Worse still, and this is an inexplicable growing trend in Brit horror, the protagonist’s family bickering, muttered utterances or climactic wailings are mostly conducted via some kind of transatlantic version of English and American accents, depending on each actor’s best efforts, as if anyone watching might be fooled it’s set in either the US or the gradually falling apart UK.
Jeffrey’s recent effort Cupid suffered the same irritating vocal anachronisms but at least it was undeniably stupid and so entertaining on a trashy level. Until the last monster moments, and like most Proportion Productions, Silent Place is just dull. The only plus points here are the briefly-seen creature makeup and a mainly ambient soundtrack score composed by Dean McGinnes (well, until it openly apes John Murphy’s 28 Days Later theme towards the climax).
Don’t Speak? Just don’t bother.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
” …even though you can practically count the peanuts it was made for, Don’t Speak isn’t sloppily put together, except maybe as a story. But the script rarely tries harder than it has to, resulting in routine indie horror that’s mostly just 80 minutes of people running around or hiding while a man in a creature suit stalks them.” Culture Crypt
” …I like a bit more to chew on in a horror fantasy film and there was barely enough here for the strange monster to get its gooey teeth into. This film to me was a rather staid and non-immersive experience inside a blood-soaked web of non-intrigue.” HorrorScreams VideoVault
Watch Happy Wax TV review on YouTube
” …a film with a good monster and some good effects. But the attack scenes themselves are few, far between and less impressive than their aftermath. If they had even ramped up the tension between the attacks Don’t Speak still might have worked. Instead, it all falls pretty flat.” Voices from the Balcony
Alan: “It’s sonic radar, ok. Whatever the hell that thing is, it’s making those noises. It’s using sound to reflect off everything, yeah, to understand the makeup of its surroundings. It can’t see us, ok.”
Cast and characters:
Stephanie Lodge … Rita
Ryan Davies … Alan
Jake Watkins … Ben
Will Stanton … Tyler
Georgina Jane … Charlie
Helen Minassian … Sandra
Nicola Wright … Mary
AJ Blackwell … Monster / Jacob
Hannah Ponting … Carol