'Talk To Me' Is The Most Excruciating Horror Movie In Recent Memory
By Sal LoCicero | July 31, 2023
In 1960, ‘Psycho’ shocked audiences, and was banned in several countries, with its depiction of violence and sexual themes. In 1968, ‘Night of the Living Dead’, was controversial due a heavy use of violence and gore, and for its social and political commentary. In 1973, ‘The Exorcist’ was banned in several countries; it also gained controversy for upsetting the religious faith, and prompted many to walkout. Audiences felt nauseous and some suffered from a heart attack. These horror movies paved the way for many other classics in the genre, however none have had the same level of impact on viewers. But now, there is one movie that may change that.
Danny and Michael Philippou’s directorial debut, titled ‘Talk To Me’. This movie premiered at Sundance Film Festival and gained a lot of praise. When a group of teenagers, from Australia, participate in a viral trend on social media that allows people to communicate with the dead, but when the challenge gets out of hand, their lives become threatened by the curse.
The Philippou’s began their career on YouTube, making intense horror comedy skits on their channel RackaRacka. Now, they’ve officially made a feature-length film that A24 acquired the rights to. This isn’t a horror movie that will divide both critics and audiences; like ‘The VVitch’ (2015) and ‘Hereditary’ (2018). This is actually the most terrifying and unhinged horror movie in the last five decades.
It is disturbing from start to finish. Every sequence feels like it is right into your face to make you as uncomfortable as possible. The movie doesn’t exactly rely on jumpscares to horrify viewers because the story itself executes that significantly. There are some heavily grotesque moments that are painful to sit through, but never is it depicted in a gratuitous manner.
The performances are fantastic, especially from the main lead Sophie Wilde. The interactions between Mia (Wilde), her friends and classmates is very much accurate to how modern teens communicate. A lot of the side characters are (understandably) troublesome. The film’s humor, while brief, is mostly aimed for gen Z viewers, it’s bizarre but it’s hard not to acknowledge the absurdity without laughter.
While this is utterly petrifying, that doesn’t mean it is a masterpiece. In terms of original storytelling, it is nothing that hasn’t exactly been touched on before. Halfway through, the story goes in a loose direction that falls flat. The conclusion is very anticlimactic, even though this is an independent project, the writer could have considered a more suitable way to end the movie.
‘Talk To Me’ is an excruciatingly bloody, depraved and shocking horror film that should satisfy fans of the genre who are looking to be scared sh!tless.
What are your thoughts?