Written and directed by Sheldon Wilson, The Unspoken is a pretty tame horror film. It follows the tropes of haunted housed films well without adding a whole lot that is new until the very end when a twist changes the whole story. A single mother and her son move into a house that has been abandoned for seventeen years following multiple deaths. Angela, whose single father has been laid-off for a while, is hired to look after Adrian, the non-speaking new child in town. The script up until then is fairly routine: a scare here, scare there, jump scare, lots of set up. Unfortunately, this formula falls a little flat for this big horror fan. However, this does not mean that it won’t scare of unnerve the casual horror fan, or the ones looking for their yearly scare.
The characters evolving in this are decently written with some fairly good dialogue. The cast led by Jodelle Ferland does well with their parts with Ferland giving a really good performance as she usually does. She’s a veteran of the creepy genre having been in Silent Hill and a few others before. As the lead she takes on the situation and shows a good range while also showing determination. Sharing a lot of her scenes is Sunny Suljic as Adrian, the child she is put in charge of. Suljic communicates mostly with his eyes, expressions, and body language, doing so does not limit his performance all that much. If anything, his lack of language actually adds a creepy kid feel to his performance.
The special effects on this film are actually fairly minimal with a bit more visual effects. Both of these aspects are well done, adding to the creep factor of the film. The main piece of special effects comes in the last third of the film and it looks gross enough to satisfy horror fan and not gross enough to turn off casual watchers. Most of the films effects rely on the situation they happen in to create their full effects as the viewer’s imagination is a powerful tool. The cinematography by Eric J. Goldstein makes the most of the creepy house and countryside location, balancing out shots of the peaceful landscapes with the house itself making the house almost its own character.
The film looks good while keeping things simple. The Unspoken is a film with a few good set ups, some good ideas, and an odd, unexpected twist at the end. The performances are decent, with Jodelle Ferland shining as she often does. It’s a horror film for the casual horror viewer and will most likely not scare the more dedicated genre fans.