09th Mar2020

‘Don’t Speak’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Stephanie Lodge, Ryan Davies, Jake Watkins, Will Stanton, Georgina Jane, Helen Minassian, Nicola Wright, AJ Blackwell | Written and Directed by Scott Jeffrey

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Yet ANOTHER film from the ever-prolific UK genre outfit Proportion Productions, Don’t Speak sees the company, and in particular director Scott Jeffrey, on familiar ground. Now if I tell you that Don’t Speak follows in the footsteps of Pet Graveyard, The Mummy Reborn and Clowndoll; you might, just might, be able to figure out what I’m about to say.

For those that are still in the dark, the aforementioned films were somewhat pastiches of bigger budget Hollywood films and Don’t Speak is no different – in fact if I tell you that Don’t Speak‘s original title was Silent Place, you’ll know which film Jeffrey’s take its inspiration from. Of course, this slice of British-made horror is a riff on A Quiet Place, with its own sight-impaired creature who seemingly hunts by sound… Yes Proportion Productions are stepping on. The Asylum’s toes once again, with their very own mockbuster!

Don’t Speak follows Rita (Stephanie Lodge) and her family who, after receiving the news her father is in hospital, make the trip out to the family farm to look after her mother. Along for the ride is Rita’s husband, played by Ryan Davies; their two teenage kids, Ben (Jake Watkins) and Charlie (Georgina Jane) and Charlie’s begrudging boyfriend Tyler (Will Stanton). Of course what they don’t know, and we the audience do, is that something has gone horribly wrong on the farm and Rita’s mother has been attacked by… something. Something that is waiting for more people to arrive and something that may be connected to the fact cars won’t start, phones get no reception, and a strange private compound just down the road…

Despite its mock buster status, Don’t Speak his actually one of Proportion Productions most accomplished films – both in terms of filmmaking and storytelling. Here the horror is real, there’s no one over-egging their performance, no ridiculously camp “big bad” – this monster is truly terrifying – and the story is taught, sparing no expense when it comes to telling its tale with nary a wasted moment. The only downside is the weird quasi-American accent the cast all try and speak in… Undoubtedly done because Proportion Productions films tend to do well in the States rather than in their own country (which is a shame). Oh and the slightly ropey cocoons the monster wraps some fo its victims in – which look like plastic tubing and net curtains in a certain light!

But those are two minor quibbles for a film that is the next evolution of Proportion Productions output. You can clearly see the progression they’ve made since their debut a few years ago; and with Don’t Speak and Cupid they’ve hit new strides, each film improving on that last. I for one can’t wait to see what’s coming next!

Don’t Speak is released on DVD and Digital, in the US, from Uncork’d Entertainment tomorrow, March 10th 2020.

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