It's not every day that a horror movie surprises everyone and forever becomes a staple in the horror genre. Possession films are a dime a dozen, but somehow the new-to-the-scene filmmakers Danny and Michael Phlippou have created a monster of a film and its universe that it resides that flips the horror genre upside down with something fresh and original in their first movie Talk To Me. This Australian film packs intense scares, dark comedy, and horrifying imagery that stands next to the best in cinema with some truly outstanding performances and a tight, polished screenplay. Highly Recommended You See In Theaters!
How does one go about changing the horror genre where possession and the supernatural are concerned that hasn't really been done before? The Philppou brothers have conjured up a screenplay with some wonderful suspense in their 95-minute film that expands on elements from other movies in the best ways possible. From films like The Sixth Sense to The Shining and even Event Horizon - Talk To Me explores the scariest moments of those films with some fresh perspectives. And even though it might not cause those intense frights every minute of the movie like, in The Conjuring, the scene-specific moments in Talk To Me are earned and pack a giant punch that impacts every character in a brutal and amazing way.
Taking its cues from horror movies where kids experiment with Quija boards, Talk To Me examines the social media aspect for school friends going through the new Tide-Pod-like challenge online where it looks like people are convulsing and having seizures. It's revealed at a party that a ceramic hand in the shape of shaking one's hand is the conduit between the living and the dead. Upon touching the hand and uttering the words, Talk To Me, the individual will immediately see a dead person in front of them. This can result in an additional level of possession if they desire. The Phlippou brothers lay out the rules pretty simply, but they are vague enough to allow future sequels and this terrifying universe to expand. It's not just the souls of dead people that are lurking in some form of the afterlife here. There is something much more sinister afoot that would love to have tea and cupcakes with Dante in his own inferno.
The movie centers around two siblings and their best friend who went through a personal tragedy not too long ago. The three are thrown into this scary world to look cool at a party in front of the popular kids at school. The filmmakers make it look like a fun-party trick that should be in every major home at first, but once the simple rules are broken, evil sets in and the horror comes at a non-stop pace from all angles. It's not just about the crescendo-like scares of walking down dark hallways or decaying people appearing in shadowy corners. The brutal violence and gore are exquisite as well which adds to the suspense in each scene, along with that unnerving feeling that there is something much bigger happening behind the scenes that hasn't been fully revealed yet.
Bryan was able to interview the filmmakers - check it out:
The performances by the kids are truly amazing with some switcheroos in traits and tones that are similar to Linda Blair in The Exorcist. The recognizable actress in the film is Miranda Otto, who plays the perfect single mother here with all the accounts of comedy and being an adult. She's amazing. But the spotlight is on the three kids here and they are all pitch-perfect. The way the Philippou brothers frame each horror sequence and build upon is truly remarkable. It's one of those rare horror movies that leaves its audience yearning and begging for more. It's way more action-packed and fluid than its sister film Oppenheimer, but it's not as deep or poetic as Barbie. Talk To Me from A24 is a knock-out dynamite piece of cinema. Highly Recommended You See In Theaters!