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Cast: Jodelle Ferland, Neal McDonough, Sunny Suljic
In 1997 the close-knit Anderson family vanished from their country home without a trace, without an explanation. No bodies were found and the house has remained undisturbed for 17 years...until now. When a mother and her mute son move into the mysterious place, a local teen reluctantly accepts a job as the sonís caretaker to help her financially struggling father. She immediately finds herself trying to make sense of the supernatural activities taking place in the house, all of which seem eerily similar to the past.
As the film opens it is October 14th, 1997. An officer is called to a home where tragedy has struck. Upon arriving he suspects the person responsible for the tragedy is still in the house so he immediately calls for back up but enters the home alone anyway. Upon entering he sees a trail of blood, a phone that is off the hook and a pot still boiling on the stove but there is no sign of the family that lives there. Instead he experiences some strange things before a young woman comes running out of a room covered in blood. We find out the woman is the family's housekeeper. But the husband, wife and two kids are nowhere to be found.
We fast forward 17 years and the house is still empty, until this day. A single mom and her son who has not talked since his father died, a few years ago are moving in.
We then meet a young lady by the name of Angela who works at a local daycare center. Upon arriving at work she is told by her boss to go to the home because the woman is interested in hiring her to help out with the little boy. Angela is a bit reluctant at first but decides to go ahead anyway because she needs the money because her dad hasn't gone back to work in months. She is immediately hired and she seems to find a connection to Adrian right away but the more time they spend alone in the house the more strange things begin to happen. To make matters worse her best friend, Pandy's boyfriend and his two friends have hidden their drug stash in the basement of the house because they felt no one would ever want to live there again and now they will do anything to get it back.
"The Unspoken" is from the producers of top horror franchises, Insidious and Paranormal Activity, as well as Blair Witch and The Devil Inside. It may not be as polished as those films but I found it to be a bit better story wise and it doesn't reply on jump scares as much as the former films do.
The film has a terrific opening scene before it switches to present day. This really gets your interest and it sets the stage for what is to follow. This is one of those supernatural thrillers that keeps you guessing and wanting to know more. There's also plenty of tension and suspense to go along with all the mystery surrounding the house. Is the house haunted or is there something more at play here? That is the question you ask yourself as the film moves along. The story is really well-written and tosses in several twists toward the end including one big one that takes everything you might have thought was going on and tosses them out the window.
Another thing about the film that stands out is the acting, everyone in the film does a great job including, Pascale Hutton who plays Adrian's mom, Jodelle Ferland who is great as Angela and last but not least Sunny Suljic who plays Adrian. He may not speak in the movie but his physical acting and face expressions are spot on. Neal McDonough also stars in the film as Officer Bower.
Production wise the film looks and sounds great and the effects used are all very well done. The film does show its budget a few times but those are minimal and they do not affect the story. Knowing who the Producers were before watching the film I was expecting a lot of what I have seen before which I got but I also got a lot more than I expected as well. Credit for that must go out to Writer/Director, Sheldon Wilson who injected new life into haunted house stories by bringing new ideas to the table. This is easily his best film to date and I look forward to seeing what he does next.
"The Unspoken" is everything you want in a haunted house movie but it also delivers a number of surprises including a great ending that I loved. The film isn't perfect and it may not be the best of its kind but I had a blast watching it. It kept me at the edge of my seat all the way to its shocking ending. The film will be available on DVD December 6. You can order it HERE. I recommend checking it out if you like horror/thrillers. I also recommend to avoid reading any spoilers so not to ruin the surprises that await.
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment
*** 1/2 Out Of *****