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'Talk to Me' movie review: Aiming for cult favour

Updated on: 04 August,2023 02:32 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Johnson Thomas |

'Talk to Me' movie review: The fresh young faces lend a certain reliability to the New Gens’ stubborn, wilful, disobedient, obsessively curious way of life. The storytelling style is also very much intriguing

'Talk to Me' movie review: Aiming for cult favour

Talk To Me poster. Pic/IMDb

Film:Talk to Me
Cast: Sophie Wilde, Joe Bird, Alexandra Jensen, Otis Dhanji, Miranda Otto, Marcus Johnson
Directors: Danny Philippou, Michael Philippou
Rating: 3/5
Runtime: 95 mins

Danny and Michael Philippou, Australian filmmakers better known for their YouTube channel “RackaRacka” make their big screen debut with a horror film that largely plays against the genre book. It’s an effective enough ‘scare’ earner, pulled off with a minuscule budget, minimal fuss and radical thought.

The narrative opens with a humdinger. You see something outrageously shocking happening at a party and then cut to a group of friends playing around with the occult, conjuring spirits by medium of an embalmed ceramic-coated hand. Obviously, for anything majorly drastic to happen, the group has to go the distance and put themselves at risk. Hooked on the new thrill, they go too far and unleash, uncontrollable, terrifying supernatural forces.

It’s basically a game fueled by percieved social media glory. Everything is being filmed on the mobile phones of each group member and then put out there for the Cyber world to get a kick out of.  Aussie teens Mia (Sophie Wilde), Jade (Alexandra Jensen), and eventually Jade's younger brother Riley (Joe Bird) are the crucial players of the game, which has them seeing dead people and becoming victims of unheralded terrors.  

The film is set in Australia and has a young cast representing the wayward way of life of the new generation. Outrageous behaviour, playing hide and seek with single parents, wilful disobedience, thrill-seeking obsession, and a distinctive inability to let go despite great harm, are some of the behavior patterns represented by this film. In short, the characters at the center of it all behave rather foolishly ( a regular trope in all horror movies). That’s not something that can be changed in a genre that relies on stupidity to earn its credits. That said, there certainly is something refreshing and new in the way this film has been structured.  

Despite the tired terror tropes, the narrative manages to spring a few surprises. The fresh young faces lend a certain reliability to the New Gens’ stubborn, wilful, disobedient, obsessively curious way of life. The storytelling style is also very much intriguing. Fresh takes, hand-held camerawork with zooms in and out that highlight and distance strategic high-tension moments - the cinematography and direction manage to craft scenes that lure you into the very dark and foreboding story. The supernatural aspect might seem common but the manner in which they play out, has some originality nevertheless. The movie managed to create an impact with its distinctive tone, characters that fit in with the Western way of life, and some effective tension assisted by a soaring background score and cleverly enacted scares.

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