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DON’T TELL A SOUL (2020, USA) – 5/10

 

This indie psychological thriller promised a lot in the beginning and it is a real pity that the story of debutant Alex McAulay eventually completely fell apart and managed to turn into nonsense. The story here was extremely promising and in this minimalist film McAulay managed to bring together two extremely potent and talented young actors, Jack Dylan Grazer (We Are Who We Are) and Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch). They’re both great as brothers Joey and Matt, a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old from an industrial town living with a sick mother (the disastrous Mena Suvari, a former sweetie from American Pie and Whirlpool of Life, is completely ruined). Old brother Matt is one of those furious aggressors who will soon turn out to be a true sociopath while younger Joey is a traumatized and frightened and pliable kid who lives in his brother’s eternal fear.

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Matt will thus persuade Joey to steal the money he found out to be from the house next door where no one lives anymore, and Joey will of course listen to him. Unfortunately for them, they will be caught stealing by a security guard who happened to be right next to the house next to the factory and will try to catch them, and the chase through the forest will end with his fall into a dried-up well. While Matt will coldly leave a security guard we learn to be called Hamby (Rainn Wilson best remembered as Dwight Schrute of the American “Office”) to die at the bottom of a six- or eight-foot-deep well, Joey’s conscience will work. After a while Joey and Hamby will start to get closer and some strange friendship will even begin to develop between them, and this somewhat pulp story one after another will bring some new surprise. Some of them will be good, and some will be completely missed and wrong, and by the end this story will completely fall apart and become completely unconvincing, even funny.

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