Danny and Michael Philippou deliver a stunning directorial debut in Talk To Me from A24. Danny also co-writes the script with Bill Hinzman. It's been a few months since Mia's (Sophie Wilde) mother (Alexandria Steffensen) died. The young woman is still wondering what happened: was it an accident? Did the mother intentionally take too many sleeping pills? Or did things turn out quite differently, and Mia's father (Marcus Johnson) was involved in his wife's death?
To get her mind off things, Mia, along with her best friend Jade (Alexandra Jensen) and her younger brother Riley (Joe Bird), get involved in a wacky party game where you're supposed to be able to communicate with the dead. But this will pull all those affected into their own mental abysses. It remains to be seen who will make it back and in what condition.
Hayley (Zoe Terakes) and Joss (Chris Alosio) are the party game hosts. The concept of the all-triggering game is straightforward: you grasp a hand made of plaster, which supposedly represents an actual corpse's hand, and utter the words "Talk to me." This phrase summons the spirit of a deceased person. If you dare to take it one step further and say, "I let you in," the spirit will possess you and compel you to engage in bizarre behaviors.
These may include engaging in inappropriate acts, crying uncontrollably, or uttering strange phrases. Interestingly, the possessed individual's actions always seem connected to the circumstances surrounding the death of the spirit. Of course, as fate would have it, one of these spirits happens to be Mia's mother. Unfortunately, her mother takes control of Riley instead, resulting in serious harm coming his way. Mia is torn between unraveling the mystery surrounding her mother's death and rescuing her best friend's brother from a group of malevolent demons. As she delves deeper into this supernatural realm, realities start to blur for Mia.
The Philippou brothers masterfully intertwine various layers of reality in their film Talk To Me, leaving audiences uncertain about what can truly be trusted. Sometimes we feel confident following Mia's perspective, only to crumble moments later. Wilde carries the film to perfection as the tormented protagonist. She skillfully portrays Mia's descent into madness, compellingly conveying her fear and vulnerability. The supporting cast is solid, taking their characters above atypical horror tropes.
Talk To Me is a thought-provoking horror film that delves into complex trauma, grief, friendship, and family themes. Unlike other movies that rely on a feel-good resolution, this film dares to explore the unsettling reality that the monsters we face reside within us. It emphasizes that the scariest entities are not supernatural beings like ghosts or demons but internal demons hiding in our souls. The haunting phrases "Talk to me" and "I'll let you in" serve as chilling reminders of the potential darkness within each of us.
Final Grade: A
Talk To Me is in theaters this Friday July 28th