Speak No Evil

Speak No Evil ★★½

Now trust me when I say this: I'm not usually a cynical viewer - especially when it comes to horror flicks.
I generally enjoy when someone goes into that dark basement when they probably shouldn't.
I don't hold it against a character for not defending themselves when the gun is clearly Right There!!!
Why? Because if they did everything "right" or "logical", often times there would be no movie...

But gooooood looooooord - this is just INSANE! How anyone could watch this without screaming "Why? Just leave!" at least 5 times is beyond me. I don't want to spoil it for anyone but halfway in it gets really hard to play along with this (and it's all because of that horribly structured script). I don't need realism, TRUST ME, but goddamn this was getting comical.

Somewhat of a Danish take on Funny Games with an Eden Lake cherry on top, we watch as a Danish family befriends a Dutch family while on vacation in Tuscany. The Dutch family then invites the Danish clan back to their home in Holland for a weekend to hang out more. The Danes are a little hesitant at first but decide to try it out -- let's have some friends abroad! Why not? What's the worst that could happen? Calamity, that's what can happen.

It's honestly a decent li'l set-up, one that invents a ton of great tension, awkward power plays, passive aggression, and a slow burn dread filling up their tiny cabin in the woods of Holland. Unfortunately for us the script just ain't up to the task of aligning these unsettling moments to build up to that horrifying climax in a believable manner.
Maybe if the scenes had been switched around to make it a proper slow-build, with a very calculated increase in danger, then it might have worked. The Danish parents are overly polite and excruciatingly spineless - especially the husband - but those characters exist in the real world. We've met people like that. The film still doesn't present a believable trajectory for these characters.

We do get quite the climax though. Oh wow. Definitely worth the bumpy ride even if I didn't fully understand what the hell was going on. Like, they really really went there. Bravo. All the stars for that. I say don't watch this movie but it's worth one viewing just to see how frustrating it is and what a grim note it leaves you on.

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