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Talk to Me review - teens tempt fate in Aussie alienation allegory | reviews, news & interviews

Talk to Me review - teens tempt fate in Aussie alienation allegory

Talk to Me review - teens tempt fate in Aussie alienation allegory

The RackaRacka bros deliver a bonechilling horror flick

Bad hand for the little lady: Sophie Wilde in 'Talk to Me'Altitude/A24

Keeping up with viral teenage trends is nearly impossible – they travel at the speed of light – but here’s a new one, or ancient one given an electronic makeover.

In Talk to Me, the new horror movie directed by twins Danny and Michael Philippou, Australian teenagers dare each other to become possessed by the dead while their friends capture the terrifying (or embarrassing) effects on their mobile phones.

Talk to Me is no simple summer roundup of cheap shocks and jump scares. Full of shadows and melancholy, the movie delivers a sharp, twisty tale of shifting allegiances among a rough teenage tribe. The film's emotional depth may surprise fans of the Philippous' raucous, ultraviolent YouTube channel RackaRacka. Make no mistake, though, the brothers demonstrate cracking filmmaking skills.

Talk to MeAfter a stunning opening sequence (no spoilers here), lonely Mia (Sophie Wilde), best pal Jade (Alexandra Jensen), and Jade’s adorable tagalong little brother Riley (Joe Bird, pictured right) get sucked into an extreme party game that’s far more dangerous than alcohol or drugs.

An acquaintance has somehow procured the severed hand of a deceased mystic (“or maybe a Satanist,” he shrugs) and discovered (via TikTok, of course), that clutching it and uttering the fatal phrase “I let you in” allows the hand-shaker to be ridden by the restless spirits of the dead.

It’s a blast, all recorded on TikTok. Stay possessed for more than a minute, warns one partygoer, and you risk going “full schizo”, a fate that seems preferable, to these kids, than being bored on a weekend, or worse, shunned by the in-crowd.

Mia, still grieving the recent loss of her mother and confused by rejection of her emotionally distant father, proves an ideal vessel for this wild ride. As the reckless, vulnerable heroine, Wilde conveys both the vulnerability and recklessness of a girl who’s very much alone among the near-feral pack teenagers she hangs with.

Not for nothing, but she is the only woman of colour in the group. She alone has experienced true sadness and isolation. When her link to the invisible realm becomes untenable, Mia faces an impossible choice. That’s when Talk to Me, satisfyingly chilling, unveils an unexpected horror: shake hands once, shake hands forever.

Full of shadows and melancholy, the movie delivers a sharp, twisty tale

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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