Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
Speak No Evil (2022)
While on holiday in Italy, Danish couple Bjorn (Morten Burian) and Louise (Sidsel Siem Koch) meet a Dutch couple, Patrick (Fedja van Huet) and Karin (Karina Smulders). They hit it off well. Each couple has a child. Bjorn and Louise have Agnes (Liva Forsberg) while the other couple has Abel (Marius Damslev). After the holiday, Bjorn and Louise receive an invitation to visit the other couple in the Netherlands, an invitation that includes Agnes. They decide to drive, as it’s only 8 hours and cheaper than flying.
On their arrival, they found Abel to be a bit sullen and nonverbal, but don’t think much of it. The visit begins well, but then begins to go downhill. Patrick and Karin invite Bjorn and Louise to dinner at a nearby restaurant, but don’t tell them until the last minute that it’s adults only and they’ve arranged for a babysitter. They unwillingly go along with the plan, but dinner becomes awkward at best, perhaps because of too much alcohol.
More red flags appear and the couple thinks perhaps they should just leave. But little do they realize what they are actually up again.
This was a very interesting film, although my friend and I kept yelling at the couple not to ignore the red flags and get the heck out of Dodge. But did they listen? Of course not lol Until the end, we didn’t know why these things were happening and speculated as to the cause, but as it turned out we were wrong. The reality was worse than what we imagined. Very creepy film, and the music added to the ambience, becoming rather chilling during otherwise innocuous scenes. I give this film 4 Stars
The Curse of La Llorona
Anna (Linda Cardellini) is a social worker who sometimes has to make difficult decisions. When she goes to visit one of her clients, Patricia Alvarez (Patricia Velasquez) because of her two boys truancy, she finds the boys locked in a closet and has no choice to but have them removed. She doesn’t listen to the mother’s pleas that it’s for their safety.
However Anna soon finds herself in a similar predicament when her children begin to display bruises she can’t account for and certainly didn’t inflict. She talks to Father Perez (Tony Amendola), but he tells her the church cannot help, and gives her the name of someone who can. Anna and her children find themselves plunged into a supernatural world, and a witch named La Llorona, who steals children in compensation for the ones she lost. Can they fight against her? And can they defeat her once and for all?
This film is part of the Conjuring series, but only tangentially, through Father Perez. So if you don’t
watch it, it won’t detract from the Conjuring. There are definite flaws here and not enough good points, I’m afraid. Linda Cardellini, who you may remember as Samantha from ER, isn’t a strong enough actress to carry the lead role, and Patricia Velasquez, whom I last saw in The Mummy, does okay. But the plot is painfully thin, the scares are primarily jump scares, and the witch isn’t really all that scary. Unless you’re like me and want to watch the whole series for closure, I would skip this one. I am giving it 1.5 Stars.
House at the End of the Street
Four years after a double murder, Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) and her mother Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) move into the house next door, unaware of the murders. Thinking the house to be unoccupied, Sarah is shocked to see a light there in the middle of the night. She asks a police officer at the hospital where she works about that and learns that the dead couple’s son Ryan (Max Thieriot), who wasn’t living there at the time of his parents’ deaths, now lives in the house and the neighbors are not happy about that. They think having a murder house in the neighborhood is bad for real estate values.
Wanting to make friends and fit in, Elissa meets Tyler (Nolan Gerard Funk), who invites her to a party. But things don’t turn out well and she begins to walk home. That’s when Ryan drives by and offers her a ride home, so she reluctantly accepts. She learns that he is really a nice guy, just misunderstood, and they begin to grow close. However, Sarah is suspicious of him and goes out of her way to let him know it.
Rumor has it that Ryan’s sister Carrie Anne, who was responsible for the death of their parents, is hiding out in the woods, which is a creepy thought. But just maybe things aren’t what they appear to be.
This didn’t turn out to be the predictable film I thought it was going to be, it was actually better. Not great, but decent. I don’t regret having seen it. It’s hard to know whose side to be on here, or who is good or bad. It’s not clear-cut. Jennifer Lawrence is good as Elissa. I think this came out before she got onto the A list. I’ll give it 3 Stars