The Australian insider tip is driven by masses of advance praise TALK TO ME now also United Kingdom. This was directed by two YouTube greats, whose unconventional approach to the genre makes for one of the freshest contributions in recent horror film history.
OT: Talk to Me (AUS 2022)
That’s what it’s about
It is the New party trend in a small Australian town: With the help of the mysterious sculpture of a plastered, supposedly real hand, numerous young adults go into a trance one after the other in order to conjure up the dead from the afterlife. The resulting cell phone videos of obsessed classmates also reach the two best friends Mia (Sophie Wilde) and Jade (Alexandra Jensen) via social networks. They become curious – and decide to take part in such a séance themselves. But when Mia’s deceased mother (Alexandria Steffensen) uses her hand to contact her, the rules of the ritual are not followed and the door to the realm of the dead can no longer be closed…
The two Australian directors Danny and Michael Philippou have been on the YouTube channel for their creative film clips for many years RackaRacka known. Here they (still) call themselves “Wannabe Film-makers” – what a pleasant understatement! Her first cinema production, “Talk to Me”, is currently being released and celebrated its world premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival in October last year. The fact that the Philippou brothers have their roots on the online platform YouTube is not immediately apparent from the finished project. But you can already guess that the creative beginnings of the two did not lie in a classic training path. Despite familiar horror film ingredients, “Talk to Me” feels surprisingly fresh and fresh. Her story about a group of teens and twenty-somethings who open the gates to the afterlife as part of a party game features elements from numerous horror subgenres. From the classic ghost horror to the possession shocker to the psyche-maltreating contribution of Elevated Horror reminds a lot of things you already know. But “Talk to Me” always takes a different path, just when you think you can see through what you’ve been on until now. This has an impact on the pace, the character and, above all, the predictability of the film. Especially when, thanks to a brilliantly staged circular conclusion, it turns out towards the end that the horror in “Talk to Me” only played a minor role the whole time. And despite it So far, the film has worked excellently on both levels: as a coming-of-age youth drama and as a nasty little ghost shocker.
Mia (Sophie Wilde) secretly hopes to meet her deceased mother’s hand with the help of her hand.
Danny and Michael Philippou, who also wrote the script for “Talk to Me” with their friend Bill Hinzman, set an unusual rhythm in the first half hour. Many changes in tempo and tone help the story structure to have an unconventional structure. First, we get a brief introduction of the main characters and their Standing to each other. Not every one of them carries such a large package with them like protagonist Mia, who lost her mother in a car accident just a few months ago. Nevertheless, everyone is plagued to a greater or lesser extent by the typical problems and conflicts of adolescents. “Talk to Me” begins as a melancholic coming-of-age film, whose horror element soon follows. When Mia and her gang come across the corpse’s hand in a cast during a party, the Philippou brothers arrange the first descent into the spirit world as a beautifully eerie spooky set piece that is so tense mainly because up until now you don’t know at all: It will happen Film from now on Jump scareparty, or have the creatives thought more about this? While you’re still trying to find your way around the inner-film rules of “Talk to Me”, the next moment a cheerful, fast-paced montage of scenes hits you in the head: Each party guest is allowed to say “Talk to Me” once, their hand in the fingers of the ominous one Put the extremity and in the next moment a spirit creature takes possession of it. The actions that the supernatural beings perform in their bodies media companies are completely unpredictable. Sometimes they cause laughter, sometimes they make you shudder, sometimes they move you to tears. “Talk to Me” could hardly be summarized better in its entirety.
“The fact that Danny and Michael Philippou always leave open the possibility until the end that the main character would simply take refuge in a fantasy world due to his psychological instability (…) gives every horror scenario, no matter how small, enormous emotional input.”
In a film like “Talk to Me,” Mia’s character type of a “traumatized half-orphan” would be ideal for manipulating the audience’s emotional world. It does work extra tragic when a young woman who recently lost her mother is haunted by ghosts. And of course no one believes her scary descriptions. But similar to the teen slasher “Bodies Bodies Bodies” released in 2022, “Talk to Me” also sees itself as a differentiated generational portrait. In the past, the characters in a teen horror film would simply have taken up the fight against evil together. Today, confronting death seems just one of many (unsolvable) problems for Mia, her best friend Jade and her younger brother Riley. Getting help from outside is also impossible. While the séances with the cast hand were good enough for funny social media snippets, suddenly no one is there when one of the experiments goes wrong. Meanwhile, the older generation, represented by Jade and Riley’s mother Sue (Miranda Otto) and Mia’s father Max (Marcus Johnson), have long since lost access to their kids. She wants to protect, but doesn’t listen carefully enough and therefore acts well-meaning at best but never really good. The fact that each of them acts comprehensibly from their own perspective continually changes the perspective of the characters. Mia may be a victim, but at times she is extremely ignorant of her friends and defiant towards the situation. Jade acts as her best friend and listener, but in some crucial moments she lacks the necessary loyalty. Riley could even be blamed for the situation. But so does everyone else. And then again, not really – who believes that ghosts really exist?
Meanwhile, the séance is captured on cameras and then uploaded to social networks. A party game…
But “Talk to Me” is not about the question of guilt. Each character acts according to their own discretion, which is by no means always accompanied by wisdom or rationality given the age group portrayed here. Nevertheless, Mia, Jade and Riley are not stupid, they sometimes approach things surprisingly logically, but always fail because of their own emotions or the rules of the spirit world. The fact that the main actors in the film were all able to take part in the story also benefits their overall great acting. Led by Sophie Wilde, Alexandra Jensen also disappears (“Frayed”) and Joe Bird (“First Day”) completely behind their roles. The latter in particular requires tremendous physicality in several scenes, which does not suggest that “Talk to Me” is Bird’s first major film arrangement after several small (series) roles. Those scenes that are later considered to be at his expense are also at his expense particularly violent will be remembered. As subtle and insidious as the horror in “Talk to Me” is over the events, it occasionally breaks to the surface in an escapist manner. And even though these scenes often only last a few seconds, they demonstrate a directorial finesse that is rarely found in modern horror cinema. This brings back memories of Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” – not the most obvious comparison to a “teen horror” like “Talk to Me”…
“’Talk to Me’ is not about the question of guilt. Each character acts according to their own discretion, which, given the age group portrayed here, is by no means always accompanied by wisdom or rationality.”
The budget of $4.5 million, which is paltry even for the horror genre (even Blumhouse boss Jason Blum provides his directors with more money), is “Talk to Me” in the best sense not to watch. While on the one hand it is an advantage for the directors that the action preferably takes place inside different buildings, cameraman Aaron McLisky does the job (“Mr. Inbetween”) on the other hand, a lot of work to make these interior photos look as valuable as possible. His play with light and shadow, movement and stillness, colors and contrasts make “Talk to Me” look great. Editor Geoff Lamb’s fluid scene transitions (“The Marine”) summon one on top of that Flow up, which underlines the urgency of the events. There is never the possibility of going back here – the only way to escape is to live through the horror with the characters until the bitter end. Ultimately, the film, with the themes it addresses here as well as the backgrounds and problems of its characters, is obviously aimed at a more young audience. The production is of such maturity and elegance that it has rarely been easier to simply “Talk to Me”. everyone to those who feel even the slightest interest in a film that falls somewhere on the broad spectrum between coming-of-age youth drama and horror horror.
Too young: Jade’s little brother Riley (Joe Bird) wouldn’t have taken part in the “game”…
Conclusion: At first glance, “Talk to Me” seems like you’ve seen it all before somewhere. But directors Danny and Michael Philippou break new ground with their mix of youth and horror drama and never take the turn you would expect. Narratively, her film is unpredictable, straight, scary and sad. In terms of staging, it is the perfect mix of classically elegant and ultra-modern. Talk to Me might actually be the best horror film of the year.
“Talk to Me” can be seen in USA cinemas from July 27, 2023.