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The new thriller Don’t Tell a Soul arrived on DVD and Blu-ray this month, showcasing the often violent nature of brothers, the dangers of toxic masculinity, and the fierce power of a mother’s love.
The film is the feature directorial debut from Alex McAulay (writer of Flower), starring Rainn Wilson (House of 1,000 Corpses, The Office) as “Hamby”, a security guard who happens upon two brothers who just stole a box of cash, attempts to chase them down, and then falls into a deep hole in the middle of the woods.
As older brother Matt, Fionn Whitehead (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch) is a complete asshole and ruthlessly abusive to his little brother Joey, played by Jack Dylan Grazer (It, It Chapter Two, Shazam!), and both performances are excellent and easily believable. When Joey goes back to the hole and begins to befriend Hamby, it sets in motion a fateful collision course between the man in the hole and the big bad brother.
Mena Suvari (American Horror Story, American Pie franchise) plays the boys’ cancer-stricken mom, a small but pivotal role played with heartbreaking realism. She is the reason, or at least the excuse, that Matt uses to force Joey into helping him steal the money.
There are some truly heart-pounding moments of palpable dread as Matt learns that Joey is taking food and water to Hamby.
Wilson plays the man in the hole as sympathetic and likable, though it’s soon clear that he is hiding a few secrets of his own.
There is more than one good twist in the third act, as Matt spirals into a fury in fear that his younger brother will cause them both to be caught.
The film never loses its intensity throughout its brisk 83-minute runtime, but it does lose a bit of its gut-punch power with an ending that, while very realistic and believable, could have (and I’d argue should have) been more satisfying and conclusive.
In the end, it’s a powerful and at times devastating feature debut from McAulay that tightens the claustrophobic dread of a no-win situation to the point when we all feel like we are trapped in the same small hole with a terrifying monster.
The only bonus feature included on the Blu-ray disc is a 21-minute featurette called “Flesh & Blood: Creating Don’t Tell A Soul“, which includes behind the scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew.
You can check out the official trailer and cover art below.
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