Talk to Me-SXSW Review

March 13, 202370/1005 min
A still from Talk to Me by Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou, an official selection of the Midnight section at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by the press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.
Sophie Wilde, Jay Bird, Alexandra Jensen
Written by
Bill Hinzman, Daley Pearson, and Danny Philippou
Directed by
Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou
Run Time
1h 37min
Release Date
July 28th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

               For the a little while now it feels like we have been on a good run when it comes to solid horror movies. With films like Fresh, X, and Smile just coming out last year, the future feels bright in a genre that makes its living (and dying) in the dark.  Now comes Talk to me, a film from Danny and Michael Philppou who together when they are not trying to give you nightmares, have a popular YouTube channel called RackRacka, where they mostly do sketches where they parody horror and action films. Now they have created something of their own and given us an exciting horror narrative that also sends plenty of chills down your spine.

              Somewhere in Australia, Mia (Sophie Wilde) has just lost her mother to a fatal accidental. Not really wanting to be around her dad Max (Marcus Johnson), she seeks refuge with her best friend Jade (Alexandra Jensen) and her younger brother Riley (Joe Bird), who are her second family. Things though are about to change, after Mia, Jade, Daniel (Otis Dhanji) attend a party and see what they think  is a trick. The two guys they know claim that a creepy looking hand they have will lead to possession with a couple of words. Mia and Jade are both skeptical, but Mia tries it and something both terrifying and electric happens. There are rules though, you can’t stay connected  longer than 90 seconds, as they were told that what you are connected to won’t leave. Mia loved the rush of the experience and convinces Jade to let them use their house so they can do it again, they though are about to learn what happens when you mess with evil.

Written by Bill Hinzman, Daley Pearson, and Danny Philippou, Talk to Me has elements you have seen before, but its execution is what’s important, and with their own flair the filmmakers have made these elements their own. From the opening sequence, you know you are in for a hyper-violent and gory time, but Talk to Me is not simply defined by its violence. Instead it is also an examination on topics ranging from grief to trauma, as well as family.

Talk to Me starts of and grabs you hard and never loses its grip during its runtime. It is incredibly precise in what it is doing and creates a very mysterious and claustrophobic atmosphere. Although there is plenty of gore, the first few acts rely on tension that only builds and builds to its disturbing third act. The young cast is great, especially Wilde, who delivers an emotional performance you feel as much as you see. This is one to seek out as the scares in Talk to Me have plenty of horror moments that will shock you, as well as teenagers making poor decisions, so in other words, this is a perfect horror movie.

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