#SUNDANCE: “SPEAK NO EVIL”
By Amanda Gilmore
While on holiday in Tuscany, a Danish family becomes friends with a fellow travelling family from the Netherlands. Months later, the Dutch family invites the Danes to visit their countryside home. Once there, the hosts increasingly test the limits of their houseguests. However, the Danes continue to stay out of politeness but will that become their downfall?
Speak No Evil is one of the most twisted films at Sundance ’22. Writer-Director Christian Tafdrup serves-up a chilling Horror that will make you keep a distance from strangers on holiday. He uses the Horror genre to make a terrifying satire on the negative effects of politeness. The houseguests continue to stay following the vegetarian guest being fed meat and the hosts using the bathroom while the guests are taking a shower. These twisted actions escalate making for a deeply disturbing watch.
These escalations become exceedingly strange as most of us won’t find ourselves in this unnerving situation. Yet, Tafdrup manages to make the Film hit close-to-home. He achieves this by including everyday situations where we give the benefit of the doubt to strangers. His two couples are cast perfectly. The Danish couple Bjørn (Morten Burian) and Louise (Sidsel Siem Koch) portray the anxiety simmering behind the courteous smiles. While the Dutch couple Patrick (Fedja van Huêt) and Karen (Karina Smulders) are frightening as the eccentric and dangerous hosts.
Overall, Speak No Evil excels in being a bone-chilling examination of the lengths of being polite. After viewing, it might make you reconsider the politeness you extend to strangers.
Speak No Evil screens virtually at Sundance:
Premiere: Jan. 22 at 1:55AM EST
Second Screening: Jan. 24 at 10AM EST (available for 24hrs)