REview: Don’t Tell A Soul (2020) | The Ties That Bind Can Also Destroy

I received an invite from Dread Central to catch an early release of Alex McAulay’s Don’t Tell A Soul, which I went into it blind.

I’m not sure why I did though I’m really glad that I did because after having seen it, if someone called it a “masterpiece” I could understand where they were coming from (though I wouldn’t necessarily agree. It’s good, REALLY GOOD but a few decisions by McAulay don’t quite resonate in the way they should).

The movie revolves around two brothers, Matt (Fionn Whitehead) and Joey (Jack Dylan Grazer) who are in crisis because their mother, Carol (Mena Suvari) is dying of cancer and their father was murdered, leaving Matt to essentially the “man” of the family.

It’s a role – and responsibility – he’s woefully unprepared to take on, which might be why he’s so mean to his younger brother.

He convinces Joey to rob a house that’s being fumigated – which would supposedly go toward paying for their mother’s expensive medicines (because the movie takes place in the United States, where we don’t have single payer healthcare – #MedicareForAll) which goes relatively smoothly, till while leaving the scene they’re noticed by a security guard, Mr. Hanby (Rainn Wilson) who gives chase.

In an effort to escape, both boys ran into a neighboring woodland, followed by Mr. Hanby.

Though Hanby vanished, falling into a shaft (it looks like a unfinished well) in the earth, which was obscured by fall foliage.

The movie begins to really move when the two young men try to find a way to deal with Hanby.

Don’t Tell A Soul isn’t a horror movie, but the way it plays with atmosphere and tension makes it feel very horror-adjacent.

It’s also really well-acted, with Fionn Whitehead being a standout (and his mastery of an American accent has to be the best I’ve heard in quite awhile).

It’s available on streaming and is well worth a watch.

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