SPEAK NO EVIL (2022) Reviews of Danish vs. Dutch family nightmare – now with release news

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Speak No Evil is a 2022 horror drama thriller film about a Danish family visiting a Dutch family they met on a holiday in Italy. However, what was supposed to be an idyllic weekend slowly starts unravelling as the Danes try to stay polite in the face of increasing tension and intimidation.

Directed by Christian Tafdrup from a screenplay co-written with Mads Tafdrup. Produced by Jacob Jarek and Ditte Milsted.

The Profile Pictures-OAK Motion Pictures co-production stars Morten Burian, Sidsel Siem, Koch Fedja, Van Huêt, Karina Smulders, Liva Forsberg and Marius Damslev.

Plot:
On a vacation in Toscana, Italy, a Danish family instantly becomes friends with a Dutch family. Months later, the Danish couple receives an unexpected invitation to visit the Dutch in their wooden house and decide to go for the weekend.

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However, it doesn’t take long before the joy of reunion is replaced with misunderstandings. Things gradually get out of hand, as the Dutch turn out to be something very else than what they have pretended to be. The small Danish family now find themselves trapped in a house, that they wish they had never entered…

Reviews:
“A nihilistic satire nestled deep within a strange drama, waiting for unsuspecting viewers to have the rug pulled out from under them at the very last second. However, seasoned horror fans will already be savvy to the tricks, tropes, and plot beats found in this niche subgenre of grim pessimism, making for an unmoving and frustrating experience.” 2/5 Bloody Disgusting

Speak No Evil is a points excruciating as Tafdrup gradually crafts a meticulous unpleasant tension as the hosts toy with their guests. Examining the veneer that humans can create to achieve emotional manipulation, Speak No Evil presents horror at its most provocative, worryingly human and downright horrifying.” 4/5 Culture Fix

” …Tafdrup continues to build up the suspense by throwing in some unexpected character-driven twists just so that he can wallop the hell out viewers with a gut-punch finale […] And for me personally, I love when filmmakers aren’t afraid of being this confrontational in their work, which is why I ended up being such a fan of Speak No Evil…” 4.5/5 Daily Dead

“Less an ultra-violent bloodbath than an exploration of how quiet emotional violence can erode the soul, Speak No Evil melds a gamy indictment of modern living with just a sliver of the more typical fare its premise might suggest. This unique, tonally adventurous horror-of-manners mines incredible discomfort from its thorny satire of middle-class toothlessness, even if it can’t fully stick the more familiar landing.” 3/4 Flickering Myth

” …a truly chilling work, fraught with perfectly-timed rising tension, that dissects social facades and asks how far we will go to protect our personal sense of civility. It may do for potential new friendships what Jaws did for keeping people out of the ocean. Speak No Evil firmly takes its place as the first entry on my “favorite films of 2022, regardless of genre” list.” Horror Fuel

Speak No Evil lacks the gradual payoff of the best in sizzlingly slow horrors. Still, this is a well-constructed film that mostly works. The juxtaposition of the two families against one another serves to emphasize the bizarre curiosities of the Dutch family, to the point that they seem almost alien in nature to the good-hearted Danish family. For those seeking a rich horror mystery, Speak No Evil may speak to them.” 3/5 Josh at the Movies

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Speak No Evil is a fresh, clever social horror film drenched in dread. Writer/director Christian Tafdrup and co-writer Mads Tafdrup conjure up a story that seeks to make audiences cringe from satirical encounters but also fear what looms beneath the surface. Speak No Evil delivers on thrills, chills, and an intriguing satire on human interaction.” Showbiz Cheat Sheet

” …while it’s reasonable to assume that Bjørn and Louise may have eventually fallen into their hosts’ trap through the slippery slope of consciously ignoring the warning signs, Tafdrup isn’t willing to let that play out in an especially nervy manner. Speak No Evil’s concluding moments are ghastly, but by the time it gets there, it only cares to prod its protagonists like cattle for the sake of cheap thrills.” 2.5/4 Slant

” …it takes a very long time for anything really wrong to occur in Speak No Evil, whose screenplay was written by Tafdrup and his brother Mads. But that doesn’t make the going any easier for viewers. The director shoots and cuts almost every scene so that the most innocuous action seems charged with the expectation that something awful is about to erupt, cranking viewer tension to an unpleasant degree.” Variety

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