Talk to Me

Talk to Me confirms horror is alive and well with a skin-crawling possession story that makes for a promising, hard-hitting debut

Film Review by Stefania Sarrubba | 24 Jul 2023
  • Talk to Me
Film title: Talk to Me
Director: Danny Philippou, Michael Philippou
Starring: Sophie Wilde, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji, Miranda Otto, Zoe Terakes, Chris Alosio, Marcus Johnson, Alexandria Steffensen, Ari McCarthy
Release date: 28 Jul
Certificate: 15

With Talk to Me, Australian cinema might have its next spooky franchise. YouTubers Danny and Michael Philippou infuse their first feature with gore and humour, putting a Gen Z spin to consorting with the dead. Fresh and frightening, Talk to Me demands its righteous place in the possessed teen canon and delivers an emotional blow where it hurts the most. 

The plot revolves around an embalmed hand that allows you to channel the spirits. Our protagonists use this mysterious prop to spice up house parties, throwing caution and ethics to the wind. For most of these teens, it's just another craze to film to get a bunch of views. Mia (Wilde), however, has recently lost her mum, and for her, exploring the afterworld feels like being thrown a lifeline. As usual with dabbling in such murky waters, the intoxicating highs come with terrifying lows if certain rules aren't respected. And you can bet they won’t be.

The hand is where urban legends and Creepypasta meet, and the film asks you to believe in its backstory and logic, only hinted at in dialogue. While this vagueness comes back to bite Talk to Me in its somewhat dissatisfying final act, the first half is as compelling as it gets, effectively conjuring horrifying images from the underworld and, scarier yet, the troubled souls of the bereaved. Grief really does a number on you, Talk to Me says, and if you leave the door open for too long, the darkness may grab you and never let go.

Released 28 Jul by Altitude; certificate 15