7/10 An intriguing little thriller that deals with brotherhood, deception, violence and family ties, “Don’t Tell a Soul” was a startlingly effective independent film which pleasantly surprised me. The film has a rather simple story but is well written enough to sustain the film’s duration, which comes in at a lean running time of just under an hour and a half. The pacing works well as we learn enough about our leading brothers, their mother and the man trapped in the well to get us to care for or despise individual characters. The plot takes some interesting twists and turns that you will not see coming, which was refreshing to see as opposed to the usual, predictable fare we often see in films today. The performances were extremely strong across the board with Rainn Wilson playing against type and handling his multi-faceted role very well and Jack Dylan Grazer from “It” and “Shazam!” continues to show maturity beyond his years as a performer. The production elements get the job done as the small town setting and forest laden environment contribute to the mood and atmosphere established by writer/director Alex McAulay. McAulay hasn’t directed a film in roughly 20 years but seeing his work here makes me want to watch some of the other films he has had a creative role in, as well as hope he works more frequently with whatever his next project happens to be. As for some of the minor problems, there were a few moments of extreme coincidence and/or ex machinas popping up at the last second which were rather lazy. Many of the elements such as the cinematography, editing, score, etc. were rather bland. They accomplished what they needed to but stood out in no way as exceling. Overall, the film is somewhat forgettable but this is forgiven since you aren’t asked to spend a ton of time investing in watching the film. With strong emotional aspects that work well, well written brotherhood conflicts and the bonds of family taken to the edge, with twists along the way, “Don’t Tell a Soul” is a good film that perhaps, you should tell some souls about and recommend they see it.

#WellThatsUnfortunate / #HowIGetYourBrother / #WeSparWhoWeSpar / #RainnOnTheirParade / #Dunjerk / #DontWellASoul

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