Weeks into 2022 and we already have what is guaranteed to be the most unsettling movie of the year: Speak No Evil. It’s a lot like last year’s Vacation Friends, only where the vacation friends aren’t fun-crazy but instead crazy-crazy. And not in a fun way. An exceptionally well-made thriller that simmers before it explodes in shocking fashion, Speak No Evil is a must-see for anyone who has a little joy left in their hearts and want to free themselves of such ailments.
In Speak No Evil, a husband, wife, and their young daughter meet another family on vacation. They hit it off, if only for a short while, but later are invited to spend the weekend with them at their home in the mountains.
A tale of refusing to trust your instincts, opting for politeness even when you feel something is amiss, and, frankly, not listening to your wife, Speak No Evil is a chilling experience that keeps you on edge in a way that few movies do. Director and co-writer Christian Tafdrup makes you feel uneasy from the earliest moments, almost as if you’re experiencing what the people on screen are feeling. To that end, Tafdrup achieves what few filmmakers do, evoking a powerful surge of emotion.
Even if that emotion is unpleasantness.
My only issue with the movie is that I didn’t particularly like the way it ends, even if its conclusion stays true to the story’s trajectory. It’s a personal preference more than anything, and I can’t get into details without spoiling the plot.
Speak No Evil isn’t an easy watch, but for fans of movies that make you feel uncomfortable, this one’s for you.
This movie was reviewed as part of our coverage of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.