What would be more stress-free than getting together to share a vacation with another family?
Director Christian Tafdrup’s Speak No Evil takes this not-at-all-fraught social situation and ramps up the anxiety to 11, testing the will (and social graces) of two parents as they try to co-exist with another couple who does things a bit differently. The horror film which shocked and delighted Sundance attendees will see theaters September 9th via IFC Midnight before streaming exclusively on Shudder September 15th. Just in time for Fall gatherings!
In the film, Danish husband and wife Bjørn (Morten Burian) and Louise (Sidsel Siem Koch) meet Dutch couple Patrick (Fedja van Huêt) and Karin (Karina Smulders) on a holiday in Tuscany. The Danes are a bit more conservative, and the Dutch a bit more wild, but they hit it off and soon reunite on Patrick and Karin’s home turf, where their children, Agnes (Liva Forsberg) and Abel (Marius Damslev), can run loose while the parents bond. Those expectations of a blooming friendship are blown up quickly, and both Bjørn and Louise must find the line between staying polite to welcoming acquaintances and getting the f*ck out of a scary situation.
Starting a trip by insisting a vegetarian take a bite of your wild boar because you’re the host? Chef’s kiss. Speak No Evil looks just as awkward as it does frightening.
Vacationing with other people, especially those who you don’t really know anything about, is a minefield even before you haggle over who’s going to Venmo whom. By all accounts, Tafdrup’s satirical horror has captured that social fear with pristine beauty and abject WTFness. Why not watch it with another family you’re just getting to know?