Speak No Evil: Review

Speak No Evil: Review

Bjørn (Morten Burian) and Louise (Sidsel Siem Koch) met a couple on holiday and enjoyed their company so much that they decide to spend the weekend with them. Bjorn and Louise are a Danish couple and Patrick (Fedja van Huêt) and Karin (Karina Smulders) are Dutch, so clearly there are some cultural differences, but they seem themselves as all the same because they share so much.

However, as the weekend goes on, Louise starts to find little things that irritate her about her new friends, slowly building up over time. Bjørn doesn’t things the same way and makes the most of what they have, although even he has a breaking point. They soon find that the polite awkwardness of getting to know new people will be more eye opening than they could ever imagine.

Speak No Evil is a Danish horror movie about two couples with very different outlooks on how to live their lives. The audience clearly sides with Bjørn and Louise, because Patrick and Karin behave so unusually, but they wouldn’t be quite prepared for what happens when things go bad.

Unfortunately, this is the problem with Speak No Evil because for the most part it’s a drama about two couples getting to know each other and that seems to be all. So, despite some well observed behaviour, when the movie takes a sharp turn into horror it feels totally unearned.

Directed by Christian Tafdrup and co-written by Mads Tafdrup who are both Danish themselves, perhaps there is some kind of subtext about relations with the Dutch, but if there is then it may be lost on broader audiences.

However, the relationships between the Danish and Dutch couples feel authentic and it does capture that awkward feeling of getting to know somebody better and finding there are things you don’t like.

The tonal shift may be jarring for some also as besides its horror credentials and being attached to Shudder it feels like this direction was unnecessary. A perfectly good story could have been told throughout if the swerve into horror didn’t make the finished product feel totally disjointed.

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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.


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