In Speak No Evil, a young mother by the name of Anna desperately tries to regain her daughter from the wicked being that snatched her from her home. Notorious for her sinful past, Anna’s cries for help are nonchalantly pushed aside, and categorized as a destructive family hellbent on tearing itself apart. Only after the rest of the town’s children are kidnapped do the locals start acknowledging the severity of the situation at hand.
Much to the joy of the parents, their offspring slowly begin to return home, one by one. However, they soon find that the children they once knew have come back horrifically altered. The kids have gone through a gruesome transformation that leaves them permanently disfigured, and eternally damned. In a quest to save her daughter’s soul, Anna must not only face judgement from the locals, but also, the challenge of taking on a demon. But to accomplish the impossible, Anna must first find the will within herself to overcome her past, and persevere to find the truth.
The proposition of a young, single mother being mistreated when her daughter disappears offers an interesting insight into the stratification of gender, and the prejudice that comes with having a child out of wedlock. Gabrielle Stone is effortlessly striking as the distraught mother Anna, willing to go as far as it takes to return her daughter to safety. Her flawless performance executes a higher level of filmmaking that makes Speak No Evil‘s impact all the more powerful.
Stone is terrific, but unfortunately, because she is such an accomplished actor, she makes everyone around her look inferior. Her natural, relaxed state unintentionally hinders whomever she’s conversing with, because, oddly enough, her strengths highlight the others’ weaknesses. However, the film would not have been the same without her, so this strange flaw can be overlooked.
Despite the noticeable acting differences, the practical effects and makeup are advanced enough for any horror fan to appreciate. Many horror films these days rely on the overabundance of easy CGI effects, and sacrifice deep fear for the sake of time and money. While it is understandable why filmmakers tend to lean toward a simple solution like computer-animated special effects, it’s always a pleasure to see someone like Roze settle for nothing less than believable work.
The possessed youngsters were especially creepy, and really gave the film an extra edge. It’s always bothersome to see young people being invaded by demonic spirits, and Speak No Evil was no exception. Watching the adults turn on the ones they once held most dear was very effective, both because of its despicable, sickening nature, and because it brings into question the morality of parents, when faced with the threat of harm. Although it was disturbing to watch, knowing a bit more about what exactly was happening to the children, and why, would have added depth to an already frightening demeanor. This is especially true when dealing with Anna and her daughter, because they are uniquely targeted. The comics which act as a prequel to the film are supposed to explain exactly why Anna in particular is victimized, but it wouldn’t hurt to make the reasoning more apparent in the movie itself.
Altogether, Speak No Evil is worth checking out. The slow build-up, along with the ever-more-increasingly rare use of practical effects give this supernatural thriller an old school, creepily unsettling presence that allows it to stand out amongst the many exorcism films today. Also, the outlandish, macabre, dreamy scenes provide the film with a unique persona that overall, deserves attention.
You can find Speak No Evil at http://www.mindplate.tv