If some films are warm blankets designed to offer its viewers a sense of peace, SPEAK NO EVIL is a flaming burlap sack whose purpose is to deliver an overwhelmingly Ill at ease sense of dread that grows with every moment of its 90 min runtime.
While on vacation in Tuscany, a polite, well-meaning family strikes up a fast friendship with a family from the Netherlands. Months later, when an invitation arrives encouraging the Danish family to visit the Dutch in their countryside home, after some hesitation from the mom about the potential for an awkward or uncomfortable trip the husband convinces her it will be fun and they decide to go for it.
Free-spirited and adventurous, the Dutch welcome the Danes for the weekend, channeling an energy that rouses their visitors as drinks flow and they start to let loose. But what begins as an idyllic reunion soon takes a turn as the hosts increasingly test the limits of their houseguests. Now the Danes find themselves caught in a web of their own politeness, trying to understand whether their new friends are merely eccentric... or hiding something more sinister.
The film is about the consequences of being polite in face of abject rudeness, of not listening to your partner, of muting your inner voice when it screams to stop. But most of all, if you think about making plans with people you meet on vacation after the trip... don't do it.
SPEAK NO EVIL will undoubtedly be divisive and that's part of what makes the film so powerful. It has no interest in giving the audience what it wants. If you are looking for empty jump scares, a fun thrill ride, or any sense of hope... this is not your film. But if you are looking for an original take on the genre that will crawl under your skin and stay for weeks, give this one a shot.
Shudder has picked up the distribution rights and will release SPEAK NO EVIL later this year.