By Catherine Erskine
As you know, I love horror movies, especially possession ones, even if they make me sleep with a light on.
(Alright fine, they all do. But movies about possession means that I need an extra bright nightlight!)
As their feature film debut, Talk to Me is directed by Danny and Michael Philippou and stars Sophie Wilde, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji and Miranda Otto. The film follows a group of people who are drawn together by the morbid curiosity of an embalmed hand that conjures spirits. Although they think they have the “rules” under control, they soon find out they are very, very wrong.
Mia is struggling with the anniversary of her mother’s tragic death, her mourning father’s absenteeism and, on top of that, the fact that she’s no longer ‘in with the cool kids’ anymore. Her best friend, Jade and younger brother, Riley have become her second family. When they discover that other students have been having parties where they take turns becoming possessed by an embalmed hand, their interest is peaked and they think it might help boost their online following. (You heard that right, people willingly becoming possessed, solely for the views. Gotta get those likes!)
Mia begs Jade to go to one of these parties and she reluctantly agrees. To her, this is nonsense and she brings Riley along with her. When they arrive, everyone is gathering and cameras are rolling. The first person shows them how it is done. Simply, sit down, grab the hand, and say ‘Talk to me.’ Soon, a dead person arrives and you say, ‘I let you in’. That’s when the possession begins, the timers are set for 60 seconds and then, it’s all over! Suddenly, you have a story to tell, a video to share and you are a legend! But dealing with the supernatural never goes as planned…
At first, I thought this movie was going to be another hollow horror about teens messing around with the demonic and getting killed. And it is… but it’s also very well done. Mia is an easy target for the demonic. She misses her mom and becomes addicted to the rush of the possession. To her, she remains present but distant as she disassociates from her own pain. There’s a hole in her soul that needs to be filled and she will risk everything–even Riley–to talk to her again.
This movie is a fun one with great jump scares, creepy moments, and reveals how humanity’s fascination with the other side has changed. Whether its holding seances and grade school sleepovers playing ‘Light as a Feather’ and ‘Bloody Mary’ in the bathroom to streaming, snapchatting and going for “the likes”, the one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is our desire for connection and closure.
Sometimes, we’re willing to fight for it. No matter what the cost.
Talk to Me is available in theatres on Friday, July 28th, 2023.