Review: Speak No Evil

A Danish family (Morten Burian, Sidsel Siem Koch and Liva Forsberg) meet a Dutch family (Fedja van Huet, Karina Smulders, and Marius Demslev) while vacationing in Italy and they hit it off. The Dutch couple invites them to their home in The Netherlands for a weekend and what starts off as a normal visit turns into something wildly uncomfortable.

I'm not sure how I missed this film last year when it came out, but it resurfaced against on Film Twitter when it was announced that James McAvoy would be starring in an American remake of this. Of course, that queued many "this doesn't need a remake" and "they're probably going to change the ending" discussions and that was enough for me to check it out.

The only work of director Christian Tafdrup I was familiar with prior to watching was his short En Forelskelse, which was a well acted, but uncomfortable watch. That's what I expected here too. Speak No Evil plays out a lot like the Japanese film Audition. It slowly builds dread. You know something is off, but you can't quite put your finger on it. Then it goes off the rails. If it weren't for the booming score, this could be any awkward family drama between two couples from different countries.

I get what people are saying about the ending now. Without spoiling anything, because you NEED to go into this spoiler free, there's no way Americans remake this film without adding guns. If you've seen it, you probably understand what I'm talking about, but there's just no way. 

I'm glad I sought this out! It's basically "no is a full sentence" the movie. It's uncomfortable, it makes a case for politeness not always being the way to go, and has a very divisive third act that will no doubt spark conversation with anyone who's seen it.

Grade: B-


  1. I never heard of this film. The Americans are nuts about their guns. I'm waiting for bugs bunny to get his semi automatic gun to bring justice back while he carries the Bible in the other hand. It's crazy..

    1. I'm telling you! Watch this and you will get exactly what I'm talking about when I think guns will be involved.


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