The Whispering Man Movie Review
Written by Karin Crighton
Released by Lazy Cat Films
Directed by József Gallai
Written by Bálint Szántó
2019, 74 minutes, Not Rated
Released on June 20th, 2020
Dávid Fecske as Mark
András Korcsmáros as Tommy
Ágota Dunai as Dora
Upon the death of their grandmother, Mark and Tommy arrive at her former home to clear out her belongings. Mark is particularly eager to recover a mysterious item: a painting called The Whispering Man. Its legendary lore as causing instability and death among its owners would be a huge hit for his YouTube show, Chasing Fear. Shockingly, that turns out to be a bad idea. He hangs the portrait in his room and is soon obsessed with it, growing more paranoid and irritable. As strange things happen around the house, his brother and girlfriend race against the clock to save Mark from the Whispering Man.
This movie really needed a budget. The Whispering Man may be just like other haunted object movies, but this one is salvageable (see: The Shadow Walkers).
The Whispering Man struggles with keeping up pacing and danger, there is little the trio of main actors can do with their limited resources. The standard radios turning on and off, bumps in the night, that sort of no-cost effect fills much of the screentime. The team does their best to coerce energy into their scenes and create some sort of stakes, but the scenes end up wandering around without momentum.
The acting is a little overindulgent, but seeing as Dávid Fecske is playing Mark, a man who hosts his own YouTube show, I can forgive him. Agota Dunai leaves much to be desired in her placeholder role as the obligatory girlfriend, but she isn’t given enough agency to build a personality, so I’m not sure if she’s struggling for skill or material. Marcsi Nagy provides a confusing turn as sister Anna away at college, who is so acidic to her brothers over their Skype call I’m not sure why they still talk.
That may seem like a lot of negative things about The Whispering Man, but you need to see the painting. Custom made by artist Maria Marachowska, it is captivating and repulsive. You can’t stop staring at it and wanting it to be on screen more often. The painting alone is enough for me to want to see a developed full-length version.
If the lingering fear and growing desperation of this year’s The Lodge were applied to The Whispering Man, along with an impressive budget, this could be a winner.
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