Kids will do just about anything to relieve their boredom, even commune with the dead. In the A24 horror film Talk to Me, thrill-seeking teens get more than they bargained for from a party game gone wrong. By holding a dead hand and reciting a simple incantation, a group of teens explores the depths of realms beyond their comprehension and experiment with having their bodies taken over by random spirits. The game has rules, and when those boundaries are pushed things get horribly out of hand. The film has been described as blood-curdling and totally messed up. It is visceral and chaotic, proving itself as an immersive cinematic experience. Some viewers may not have the stomach to sit through Talk to Me, but for die-hard horror fans, this film is everything one could ask for.
Filmmaking brothers Danny and Michael Philippou made Talk to Me their film debut. They have a popular YouTube channel under the name RakkaRakka, home to their live-action shorts, many of which fall in the horror genre. The movie got rave reviews when it screened at the 2023 Sundance Festival for its originality and ghastliness. With its success at Sundance 2023, A24 picked the film up for distribution and slated the film for a summer release. According to the critics, the movie goes over the top with its possession scenes, the bread and butter of the film. Some are comparing it to the cult classic 1981 film The Evil Dead, and all who have seen Talk to Me are praising Sophie Wilde for her groundbreaking performance in the lead role. There have already been a number of showstopping horror movies to kick the year off but Talk to Me has managed to establish itself as a new crowd favorite. Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about Talk to Me.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on November 7.
Talk to Me
- Release Date
- July 28, 2023
- Danny Philippou, Michael Philippou
- Sophie Wilde, Joe Bird, Alexandra Jensen, Otis Dhanji
- 94 minutes
- Main Genre
- Horror, Thriller
When and Where Was ‘Talk to Me’ Released?
Shortly after A24 acquired the film at Sundance, the indie giant scheduled the film for a wide theatrical release on July 28, 2023. This date put the film up against Disney’s star-studded Haunted Mansion reboot and the psychological horror film Sympathy for the Devil, starring Nicolas Cage and Joel Kinnaman, making for one spooky weekend at the movies. The movie has also now been released on Digital so you can watch it from the comfort of your own home. For more on all the ways you can watch Talk to Me, check out this article.
Watch the ‘Talk to Me’ Trailer
The official trailer for Talk To Me was released on A24’s YouTube channel on April 11, 2023. The trailer reveals how Sophie Wilde’s Mia is coaxed by her friends to go to a seance using an embalmed hand after viewing several live-streamed events on social media. Unfortunately for Mia, she begins to be haunted by some demonic forces that are still following her, even after the seance.
The second trailer for Talk to Me was released on A24’s YouTube channel on June 6, 2023. The trailer sees Sophie Wilde’s Mia attending her first séance with the embalmed hands and forming a deadly connection with it as she and her friends are stalked by demonic forces. While that’s the last trailer for the movie, we do have one more video to show you. During San Diego Comic-Con 2023, Talk to Me‘s co-director Michael Philippou gave an amazing stunt performance with the film’s creepy hand. See it below:
What Is the Plot of ‘Talk to Me’?
Talk to Me follows Mia (Sophie Wilde), a girl who recently lost her mother, attending special parties thrown by characters Hayley (Zoe Terakes) and Joss (Chris Alosio). These parties have a central focus on a supernatural game involving an embalmed, inscribed hand that allows whoever holds it to be possessed by a random spirit. The rule is not to hold the hand for more than ninety seconds; any longer and the spirit can make its forever home in the possessed. There are a series of these parties that quickly escalate into a sinister outcome. The kids know how to open the door to unseen worlds, but they do not know to close it. Mia gets dangerously eager about the game and her ulterior motives cause her to push the limits, resulting in the horrific death of a friend. This tragedy, coupled with Mia’s resurfacing traumatic past, provides a well-oiled coalition between the supernatural events occurring externally and the introspective exploration of the toll trauma takes on the mind. Darkness within, and darkness on the outside. The plot mirrors the age-old adage, “as above, so below.”
The official plot synopsis for the film via Sundance reads:
Conjuring spirits has become the latest local party craze, and looking for a distraction on the anniversary of her mother’s death, teenage Mia (Sophie Wilde) is determined to get a piece of the otherworldly action. When her group of friends gathers for another unruly séance with the mysterious embalmed hand that promises a direct line to the spirits, they’re unprepared for the consequences of bending the rules through prolonged contact. As the boundary between worlds collapses and disturbing supernatural visions increasingly haunt Mia, she rushes to undo the horrific damage before it’s irreversible.
Filmmaking duo (and twin brothers) Danny and Michael Philippou of @RackaRacka YouTube channel fame suspend us in the foreboding and nightmarish realm of their debut feature, making the most of their twisted propensity for the surreal and grotesque. Effortlessly blending the creepiness of a ghost tale with the modern sensibilities of a horror-thriller for the Insta-generation, Talk to Me exposes an uncanny reality where the dead roam eerily close to the living.
The Philippou brothers have also teased their desire to make sequels in an interview with Collider’s own Perri Nemiroff.
Even down to the writing on the hand. There’s a lore and a story and a deep mythology. Even the spirits that are connecting with every character’s emotions. Everything’s really thought out and put through a mythology hopefully we can expand on if we were able to do a sequel. But yeah, we wanted the characters to be out of their depths. We didn’t explore it that much, so we just sort of hinted at it with the characters. But yes, everything’s ironed out and there’s a whole big bible. It’s called the mythology bible. So we’ve got that.
Who Is in the Cast of ‘Talk to Me’?
Talk to Me stars Sophie Wilde (You Don’t Know Me) as Mia, Alexandra Jensen (Joe vs. Carole) as Jade, Joe Bird (First Day) as Riley, Otis Dhanji (Aquaman) as Daniel, Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) as Sue, Zoe Terakes (Nine Perfect Strangers) as Hayley, and Chris Alosio (Surviving Summer) as Joss. For a lot of the cast, Talk to Me is a breakout project that will propel them to new career heights. With such high accolades for the film, fans are likely to see much of the cast in future big-screen projects.
Who Made ‘Talk to Me’?
The Australian film was directed by YouTubers Daniel and Michael Philippou and written by Daniel Philippou and Bill Hinzman. Samantha Jennings and Kristina Geyton of Causeway Films produced the movie. It’s another win for them after producing the critically acclaimed films The Babadook and The Nightingale. Aaron McLisky is behind the film’s cinematography, and Cornel Wilczek composed the film’s score.
When and Where Did ‘Talk to Me’ Film?
Back in January 2019, Danny Philippou posted on his Instagram that he had co-written a script with Michael Beck from a concept by Daley Pearson for a horror movie called Talk to Me.
In July 2020, Phillipou revealed on his Instagram that Talk to Me had been picked up by Screen Australia, who would be financing the film.
In September 2020, Phillipou revealed that the final draft of the script had been completed and that casting for the film was about to begin. Filming was initially scheduled for early 2021, but was ultimately pushed back a year.
On March 5, 2022, Philippou revealed that the first week of filming had been completed. Filming took place in Australia.
SOURCE : collider.com