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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Christian Tafdrup

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

Only once before have I felt so angry that I've refused to see the film again. Film has the power to evoke all emotion, quite often being sadness, happiness, depression but rarely anger. That other film was EDEN LAKE and SPEAK NO EVIL shares a lot of the themes of why that film manages to spark such emotion.

After meeting at a family holiday resort, a Danish family instantly becomes friends with a Dutch family. Months later, the Danish couple receives an unexpected invitation. It doesn't take long before the joy of reunion is replaced with misunderstandings.

The chemistry between the two couples and their children is magnetic and it's only Sune Kølster's fantastically terrifying score that forebodes the film's shocking and horrific conclusion.

What's more menacing is how normal Christian Tafdrup's film is and always grabs a sense of unforgiving slight of hand and false security in the warmth and company of the two families.

Like DOGTOOTH, MARTYRS, ILS and EDEN LAKE, SPEAK NO EVIL is as close to evil cinema can get and for families comfortable in their armchairs, is a frightening reminder of the real evil that exists in man. Without the need for torture porn and crossed paths, there's a human awkwardness to situations that you know should be removed but because of social pressures are carried on. At many points throughout SPEAK NO EVIL, there will be yelling at the screen while audiences are subjected to one of the most depraved and sadistic endings on film.

It's a double edged sword as it's a film I won't jump back into anytime soon but it's one I'll remember forever and for those viewers with children, there will be an imminent rise in blood pressure in the films closing moments.

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