Talk to Me

Talk to Me
Talk to Me
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Horror movies have a tendency to get repetitive, and not just because of sequels designed to cash in and strip mine a premise. But Hollywood, oh how it loves repetition. The town is so reactionary, making producers want to duplicate the success of others rather than dare — gasp — anything new. However, sometimes the genre finds itself rejuvenated with the help of some kind of shock treatment that gets everyone flocking into cinema halls.

Talk to Me is a debut feature from writers/directors Danny and Michael Philippou who plunge a syringe full of adrenaline deep into the viewer’s arm and leave it there for the next 95 minutes while their heart races on edge. We thought we would never be so positive about any directing duo after YouTube beginnings. Nevertheless, The Brothers Philippou crafted one of the most exciting horror films in recent memory on virtually no budget at all.

A group of Aussie teenagers has discovered a new social media fad. According to an urban legend, it can use its ceramic hand for communication with dead souls resided inside it. Mia (Sophie Wilde) and Jade (Alexandra Jensen) attend a party with some friends to see if the rumors about the hand have any merit. These two used to be inseparable since they were little girls; Mia became like an elder sister for Jade’s younger brother Riley (Joe Bird). Sue (Miranda Otto), Riley and Jade’s mother loves Mia too much because she lost her own mother due to drug addiction.

Mia, Jade, Riley, and Jade’s boyfriend Daniel (Otis Dhanji) are able to witness this power: for exactly 90 seconds every time that participant separates from his soul during him becoming euphoric . Then all other people around will observe as different spirits take root in that person’s body.Even though they don’t last beyond 90 seconds before allowing possession by spirits. When the novelty of talking to spirits from another world gets tired, the real situation begins. However, after Mia makes contact with her dead mother, things go south.

The Philippous populate Talk to Me with lots of hand imagery. Basically this is a story about broken connections and loneliness. Mia longs to talk with her late mom again. Jade has trouble relating to Mia because of her relationship with Daniel. Riley wants to party with the big kids, but feels like an outsider.

Despite this obvious risk, they still want to feel close to it in isolation rather than get caught up in something exciting anymore . They are not looking for entertainment; they are longing for kindness. They are seeking companionship. That’s why no matter how far-fetched the characters’ actions might be they remain plausible . It also doesn’t hurt that all of the young actors actually look their age (as opposed to 20- or 30-something actors buried under makeup).

If there is a precedent on which Talk to Me can build upon then it would be Flatliners, Joel Schumacher’s cult film about medical students who “die” momentarily so as meet death face-to-face . While that movie strove for special effects the Phillipous chose a different path altogether. Most of these supernatural images were created by two filmmakers through smart editing and tricks done in front of camera lens . Most shots here have physical texture—apart from some computer manipulated images—giving rise to suspense.

Additionally, these horror movies sometimes reveal the monster on screen before the characters can see it to create suspense or they make the scary creature jump out of nowhere in front of the camera, saying “BOO!” to the audience. On the other hand, The Philippous do this oppositely in Talk to Me. In front of its viewers, are characters capable of seeing something that is scary. This escalates tension to an unbearable level as attested by their expressions. As far as we could tell from our screening of Talk to Me, audiences wanted to scream their lungs out.

The directors’ boldest choice, however, lies in keeping faces on screen for longer periods. For Talk to Me to succeed in any way at all, it mostly depends on how convincing its characters are portrayed by these actors. This must have been hard work for Bird but especially for Wilde. This would have brought Talk to Me down without a doubt even if there were any flaws during this period when their performances faltered slightly. Riley Bird’s performance as Riley can be characterized as both adorable and disgusting considering he goes all-out into his role. What makes it more impressive is the fact that he is young; it is only his fourth appearance so far.

Wilde completely dominates every shot she appears in during Talk to Me and delivers a performance that is both heart wrenching and spooky too. It isn’t her first movie either but it definitely won’t be her last one too if things go according to plan for her career path wise since she very well may become another Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) or even Sigourney Weaver (Aliens) who all had breakthrough roles in horror movies then went on living long lives full of beloved works in film making industry therefore turning out really good here.

This isn’t a gory film with heavy special effects or extensive body count nor does it belong under any famous franchise. Instead, it relies on the acting performances of its ensemble and a relatable cast of characters to attract audiences. The film is always grounded in our reality even though it has an insane premise. With their first feature, Danny and Michael Philippou prove that inventive filmmaking does not need huge budgets or special effects as can be seen from this effort to thrill, scare and even entertain.

Talk to Me comes by itself with nothing but critics’ acclaim through A24’s art-house door into theaters. After all, A24 is the same studio that brought you Midsommar, Heredity, Everything Everywhere All at Once and Euphoria (a television series). In a sense like looking at Disney for example who among other things have recently made remakes from old animated films and left zombie-like sequels to their previous successes in cinema there lies a real-life horror movie where “big league” studios are flooding market with never-ending spin-offs while only one company still keeps in mind what makes movies magical – unique storylines written by talented people rather than well-known names attached to them. So much so that you will hear screams…followed by applause when you see Talk to Me.

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