Silent Retreat (2016)★★☆☆☆


When I started typing out my notes for this movie, I mistyped and my phone corrected it to “Silent Regret,” which might be a more accurate title for it. It’s pretty bad. It’s not completely unwatchable, but it’s close.

What’s funny is that it’s hard for me to pinpoint what was so bad about it. The story itself was original and interesting, and the twists fitting and equally intriguing. And the cover looked awesome! It should have been scary and it should have been really good, but it felt flat.

I found myself wondering whether it was the acting or the dialogue that was particularly bad, and I think the answer is both and neither. Most of the acting wasn’t bad, but there were a few notable exceptions. On the other hand, most of the dialogue was crap, also with a few notable exceptions.

The funny thing is, this movie gets pacing right. The reveals are all well timed, and the parts that should be scary well placed throughout. With the exception of a few moments towards the end that I think were supposed to be flashbacks to earlier that day, the story’s timeline was reasonably easy to follow.

I think what it comes down to is production value. There’s no visual difference between the flashbacks (when Maigan is listening to the tapes) and the present, which can be distracting. The score doesn’t appear to have been written for the movie, which can be disorienting. And they put a title screen at the end, which is almost as bad as “the end.”

I don’t recommend this movie. I mean, I wouldn’t advise you to run screaming in the other direction or anything, but you can probably stay away from it.