One of the most common (and manipulative) techniques Horror filmmakers often employ to get a rise out of the viewer is to have their potential victims either make terrible decisions that lead to their inevitable capture (Don’t go back into the house!); or take no action at all (Grab the knife!! Fight back! Run!!). In Speak No Evil, director and co-writer Christian Tafdrup relies heavily on this technique with his two leads Bjørn and Louise, who never seem to follow through with their intuition and get out before things get truly ugly, despite the many, many crystal clear signs that there is something terribly wrong. When things do finally go left, neither Bjørn nor Louise ever do anything more than scream “No!” to fight back. And it’s absolutely infuriating. By the end you may find yourself sadistically hoping for them to get what’s coming.
If you can forgive what I personally consider this one big strike against it, Speak No Evil is actually a pretty fun and harrowing ride, containing some truly twisted moments with beautiful direction, cinematography, and performances.