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Twin brothers Danny and Michael Philippou springboard from their popular YouTube channel into features with this tale of possession for the viral-video generation.
There’s a stabbing, a violent suicide and a disturbing accident involving kangaroo roadkill in the opening minutes of Talk to Me, and from there, the adrenaline rush of this nightmarish collision of the living and the dead rarely lets up. Having made a name for themselves with the online comic horror and action content of their RackaRacka YouTube channel, Australian twin brothers Danny and Michael Philippou vault into features with assurance and imagination, cooking up gut-wrenching thrills that deftly tap into their own background as viral-video sensations. Acquired out of Sundance by A2
,the film is thematically a bit thin but doesn’t stint on genuine scares, intensity or revulsion.
About that opening — DP Aaron McLisky displays eye-catching skills with a tracking shot that follows a young man through a crowded party to a locked bedroom door. His screams were almost drowned out by the blaring techno music. He pried open the door, tried to force his frightened brother out of it, and yelled at a crowd of party-goers with cell phone cameras. Revelers seem convinced an Instagrammable freakout is on the way, and they’re not wrong. We’re not in a hurry to show how the events connect to the main characters, but it’ll become clear soon enough.Also, 17-year-old Mia (Sophie Wilde) and her surrogate brother Riley (Joe Byrd) are speeding up. There’s also a more subtle foreshadowing of what’s to come, as he steps up and sings out loud to Sia’s “Chandelier.” Something hits the car. Mia is devastated to find a half-dead kangaroo on the street. The kangaroo moans in agony, and Riley pleads with him to put him out of his misery.
It’s the anniversary of Mia’s mother’s apparent suicide. Considering the distance between her and her father, Max (Marcus Johnson), since that loss, she spends a lot of time at Riley’s house. , with his sister Jade (Alexandra Jensen) and stone mother Sue (Miranda). Otto) works the night shift and trusts them to act responsibly. But it made it easier for 1
-year-old Riley to party with Jade and Mia.
The main attraction of this gathering is not the usual teenage alcohol, drugs and sex indulgences, but the psychic spells. Giving alms, wrapped in pottery, they make contact with the dead first with the phrase “Tell me,” and then “I will let you in,” in full possession. However, hand owners warn that 90 seconds is the maximum. What’s more, the supernatural resident invites you to stay here forever. Of course, this inevitably means someone crossing the line and tempting fate.
The poignant idea of the script is to make these brief possessions highly addictive. This is not just for anyone experiencing a psychic transmission, but with wide-eyed eyes and spitting out cryptic messages, the feature turns into a creepy mask – in the room for the viewer as well, laughing out loud. . Filming all the gross episodes to share on social media, perhaps while checking the clock.
This raises interesting questions about terminal boredom youth culture being pushed to ever more dangerous extremes in order to inspire and impress peers. But the filmmakers have unfortunately shown little interest in exploring the social phenomenon of cool currency at any cost. It brings in so much energy and macabre ingenuity that most viewers are swooning and unaware. Philippos and her top-notch make-up and her VFX team show old Sam her adoration for Raimi in these scenes, while Jade’s ultra-Christian friend Daniel (Otis her Dange) falls under a horny ghost spell. It’s laughable to fall for, but it steadily increases. Stakeholders become more ruthless. The concept of teenagers being attacked from within is a clever gimmick that creates a strong sense of terror.
Initially an outsider to the group, Mia’s stock price soars as she fearlessly dives into experimentation and returns for more. . When one of the young teenagers fell into otherworldly hands, the spirit of Mia’s mother (Alexandria Stephensen) communicated with her, endangering the lives of her friends. and terrifyingly severe self-harm, requiring hospitalization.
Most of the young cast is solid, especially Bird as Riley, but talented newcomer Wilde has the most dramatic rise. She wrestles with Mia’s confused feelings about her mother’s death, her role in the near-fatal injuries to her friend and even the specter of that half-dead kangaroo, all while falling prey to her own paranormal visions and bouts of possession triggered by going overtime. But her anguish doesn’t stop her going back repeatedly to the hand, becoming less and less sure whether to trust the living or the dead as she tries to complete the ritual and release the malevolent spirits stuck in limbo.
It’s in the feverish conclusion that the directors’ storytelling gets a touch sloppy, allowing their instincts for heightened supernatural mayhem to get the better of their control in terms of nuts-and-bolts narrative. But Talk to Me remains exciting and scary throughout, amping up the tension with help from Cornel Wilczek’s muscular score and Emma Bortignon’s creepy sound design. The movie deftly stitches its deepest fears around the idea that grief and trauma can be open invitations to predatory forces from the great beyond. This marks a welcome new blood in the horror landscape.