DON’T TELL A SOUL is a psychological thriller featuring truly interesting characters, some gorgeous twists, and brutal acts. It has a small but very strong cast full of familiar faces with a lot more to it than you might expect. Read our full Don’t Tell a Soul movie review here!

DON’T TELL A SOUL is a psychological thriller with a seemingly simple plot. However, the execution and super-tight runtime of just 82 minutes, makes for very strong storytelling. Also, I have to credit this movie for being rather brutal in its realistic and gritty portrayal of life for these characters. This one is definitely worth watching!

There are four key characters in this movie; Two brothers, their cancer-stricken mother, and a security guard. The latter gets trapped at the bottom of an old well when chasing the brothers after they’ve stolen from a nearby house. You can expect to see familiar faces in all the key roles.

Continue reading our Don’t Tell a Soul movie review below.

Familiar faces deliver strong performances

The younger brother, who is all hearts and faith in humanity, is played by Jack Dylan Grazer. You’ll probably recognize him from the new film adaptations of Stephen King’s It or maybe Shazam! (2019). Most recently, he was the lead in HBO’s We Are Who We Are but the character in Don’t Tell a Soul is most like his It character in many ways. And yet, it’s very different as well!

As the older brother, who has given up all hope in other people, we have Fionn Whitehead. He played the lead character in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and also in the Black Mirror movie Bandersnatch (2018). In Don’t Tell a Soul, he is almost unrecognizable. Not in a physical way but because of his very brutal and cruel ways. Quite impressive, actually!

The mother of these two brothers is portrayed by Mena Suvari (What Lies Below), who isn’t on screen all that much. However, once again, she delivers a memorable and believable performance – memorable for all the right reasons. Finally, the security guard is played by Rainn Wilson (Utopia), who continues to show us new and fascinating sides. A really good role for him!

Don't Tell a Soul – Movie Review

Character-based thriller plot

The characters in Don’t Tell a Soul are wonderfully fleshed out and feel realistic. They don’t always do what you expect. Or even what you think they should do. However, it is believable because we get to understand the inner-workings of each character.

Especially the dysfunctional relationships between the brothers. They have been suffering under a brutal dad, and still live surrounded by factories spewing out smoke non-stop. Also, there’s a focus on fact that you can still choose to do good when a chance is presented to you. Finally, it does touch on the fact that even the best people can get fed up!

The final moments of Don’t Tell a Soul were a little bit “off” for me, but nothing too drastic. Still, any movie with well-written characters wins. Sure, the plot can still have a few slip-ups, but it will always make for a movie worth watching.  In Don’t Tell a Soul, both the characters and the plot work which makes for a really good movie that you really shouldn’t miss out on!

Watch Don’t Tell a Soul on VOD

Don’t Tell a Soul is written and directed by Alex McAulay. This is the first feature film from Alex McAulay as a director and it’s one hell of a start. As a writer, McAulay has written a novel and came up with the story, and co-wrote the screenplay, for Flower (2017). This was also a very character-based story but in the drama-comedy genres.

There is a movie listed as “announced” on Alex McAulay’s IMDb page (as screenwriter), which I really hope will be made. It’s called Cult and is a thriller based on the book by Warren Adler (author of The War of the Roses). However, the info on the movie was last updated in October of 2017, so that might not come to fruition anytime soon.

In any case, I definitely hope we’ll see more from Alex McAulay with such a strong feature film debut as director!

If you enjoy character-based thrillers, which is something indie film productions excel at, then Don’t Tell a Soul should be perfect for you. And if you “just” enjoy watching a thriller with a sharp story and tight pace, then this is also worth checking out.

Don’t Tell a Soul is out on VOD from January 15, 2021. It will also be released on Blu-ray and DVD beginning March 16, 2021.


Director: Alex McAulay
Writer: Alex McAulay
Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rainn Wilson, Mena Suvari


While stealing money to help their sick mother, teen brothers Matt and Joey are surprised by Hamby, a security officer who gives chase and is then trapped in a well. Over the next few days, Joey and Hamby forge an uneasy relationship. Hamby tells Joey he’ll keep quiet if Joey sets him free. But Hamby holds another secret, one that will threaten Joey and his family.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
Latest posts by Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard (see all)