Vacations are supposed to be fun getaways full of rest and relaxation, which is why they serve as the perfect setting for horror. Films like Us, The Cabin in the Woods, and Midsommar take vacations and turn them into a version of hell. The next entry into the genre is Speak No Evil.
Directed by Christian Tafdrup, Speak No Evil starts out as a friendship between a Danish family and a Dutch family on vacation in Italy. They eventually agree to meet up months later as the Danish family travels to the Dutch countryside. As the two groups spend time together, the Danes slowly start to unravel as they are frightened by their friends’ way of living especially when it comes to the treatment of the Dutch family’s young boy, who was born without a tongue.
Sidsel Siem Koch and Morten Burian play the Danish couple, Louise and Bjørn, while Karina Smulders and Fedja van Huet stars as Patrick and Karin, the Dutch couple. The unnerving satire is a chilling look at how the actions of families can lead to the discomfort of strangers, and in Speak No Evil‘s case, these measures are sinister.
Tafdrup, who directed 2016’s Parents and 2017’s A Horrible Woman, is known for his “known for his razor-sharp satirical tone” according to the film’s press release. Speak No Evil officially premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews with David Fear of Rolling Stone saying the film is “a slow-burn nightmare of Euro–middle-class mores curdling around.”
Speak No Evil opens theatrically in NY/LA on September 9th via IFC Midnight. It will then stream exclusively on Shudder on September 15.
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