I first heard about I Hear The Trees Whispering a few months ago. Described as a slow burn mystery drama, the film caught my eye when I saw its gorgeous poster.
It reminded me of the cover of The Cure’s single, “The Forest,” with its tall, thin, monochrome trees reaching up into a fuzzy sky. I immediately connected the lyrics to the film.
See into the trees
Find the girl
While you can
See into the dark
Just follow your eyes
Just follow your eyes
Calling my name
The sound is deep
In the dark
And start to run
Into the trees
Into the trees
Running from his tormented past, a man takes a job in the middle of the woods, only to find his quiet life shattered when it soon turns out nothing around him is what it seems.
I Hear The Trees Whispering was created by Hungarian filmmakers József Gallai (A Guide To Killing Your Ex 2021) and Gergö Elekes (The Child Eater 2021). Gallai wrote and directed the film, and Elekes composed the score, recorded the sound, and edited the final product. Both men shot and produced the project. The small cast includes Gábor Varga (In The Line Of Fire 2007), Laura Saxon (Emergency: LA TV series), Oscar nominee Larry Hankin (Solly’s Diner 1980), and Bill Oberst, Jr. (3 From Hell 2019 – our review, Circus of the Dead 2014 – our review).
I absolutely love I Hear The Trees Whispering. It reminds me of Adrian Corona’s Dis (2018 – my review) and Lewis Leslie’s Strange Company (2021 – my review), one of my favorite films from 2021. There’s this aura about it that drew me in. The first hour of the film is seen through the POV of the main character, Will (Varga), as he explores the woods around him for his new job as a sort of park ranger. We see all of the things Will sees in real time, and as he stumbles across abandoned buildings and tents in the woods, he’s talking on a GPS headset to his handler, June (Saxon). He opens up to her and tells her about his heartbreaking past, and she encourages him to seek refuge in the quiet of these tall, tall trees. Seeing everything through his eyes—and his eyes only—helps you to fall in step with and even merge with this character. You feel like you’re there with him, walking the paths as the sun goes down and the darkness grows.
Because there are only trees, leaves, and paths to see, I became absorbed by the conversation between Will and June. I wasn’t distracted by any flashy cinematography. Every word of theirs stuck. I felt calmed by the scenery, but there was still this unseen presence that filtered in to each scene, keeping me scanning the forest for what might possibly be there. And yes, there is something there.
The twist… I did not see coming. Not even in the slightest. I thought I was so smart, guessing who these people were and where the story was going, but then this twist hits about 15 minutes from the end of the film, and it totally blew my mind. I waited a bit after watching I Hear The Trees Whispering to write this review to let it all sink in. It’s been a few days, and I’m still ruminating about the story and where it ended up.
What Doesn’t Work
Although I think the film style is intriguing, I can see others deciding that it’s a bit boring, as there’s nothing much as far as action in the first hour. It’s interesting to learn more about Will and why he’s chosen this job in the woods, but it’s not exactly visually enticing. Like I said, I didn’t mind this, but I don’t doubt that others will be turned off by this style of filmmaking.
If you’re a fan of films like Dis and Strange Company, you will love I Hear The Trees Whispering. The story comes at you from two different levels, and it will leave you pondering the film for days. I Hear The Trees Whispering is a gorgeous, intellectual piece of filmmaking that restored my soul in the indie moviemaking industry. There are original ideas out there, and we movie lovers must find them. This film is a perfect example of that.