Talk To Me, directed by Danny and Michael Philippou, was a compelling and nightmarish debut that masterfully wove together horror, grief, and the thrill of chasing an unforgettable escape. The film followed Mia, a teenage girl coping with her mother’s death, who became drawn into a dangerous world of spirit conjuring with an embalmed hand. As Mia and her friends explored this thrilling but perilous new high, they unleashed terrifying supernatural forces that tested their bonds of friendship and confronted them with the consequences of their actions.
Sophie Wilde delivered an outstanding performance as Mia. I thought she portrayed her character’s vulnerability, grief, and desperation to escape reality with authenticity. Her emotional journey throughout the film was captivating. It really made me empathize with her pain and fear. The entire cast, including Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, and Zoe Terakes, also did a solid job contributing to the film’s overall impact with convincing portrayals of troubled and flawed individuals. I thought Joe Bird, who played Riley, did a marvelous job selling his rather difficult-to-watch scene as well.
A strong element that worked for Talk To Me were the themes of grief, loss, and connectivity. The themes gave depth to the characters’ motivations and it made their actions feel necessary rather than contrived. That exploration of the emotional toll of loss elevated the story beyond mere scares and made it a more emotionally engaging experience. In other words, the themes made the story make sense and flow in a really compelling manner.
What I really appreciated in Talk To Me, was the overall plot and the creative choices made by the directors. One of those choices was to make the possession have an addictive quality to it. I thought this added complexity to the characters’ struggle, as they were not merely victims of supernatural forces but were drawn to the experience by their own desires. It heightened the tension and drove the characters to dive deeper into the horrors. I also loved how the film’s ending was a satisfying conclusion that thematically tied everything together. It left open possibilities for potential sequels or prequels.
The only minor criticism I had with Talk To Me was in the scare tactics used. While this is billed as a horror, it felt far more like a drama that happened to have a few horror elements in it. Many of the scarier moments in the film might feel a bit tame and sometimes predictable to more experienced horror movie viewers. The film missed opportunities to fully exploit the potential for terrifying hallucinations and surreal visuals that could have intensified the horror experience for the audience.
Overall, Talk To Me is an original and emotionally-driven horror film that effectively utilizes themes of grief and loss to create a captivating story. I wouldn’t say that it’s going to leave audiences with nightmares, but its exploration of real-life pain and horror does deliver a pretty unique and memorable experience. It may be worth noting that if you happen to have recently lost a loved one, then take heed before watching Talk To Me. This movie could be emotionally triggering for people who can relate directly to the characters. Nevertheless, even though this movie didn’t scare my socks off, it told a great story. Be sure to check out Talk To Me in a theater when you can.
Director: Danny Philippou, Michael Philippou
Writer(s): Danny Philippou, Bill Hinzman
Stars: Sophie Wilde, Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji, Zoe Terakes, Chris Alosio
Talk To Me hits theaters July 28, 2023. Be sure to follow E-Man’s Movie Reviews on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, or follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for even more movie news and reviews!
Talk To Me Review: Making Grief & Loss a True Horror
- Acting - 7/107/10
- Cinematography/Visual Effects - 7/107/10
- Plot/Screenplay - 9/109/10
- Setting/Theme - 9/109/10
- Watchability - 9/109/10
- Rewatchability - 7/107/10