Here is a rarity … an indie horror movie made in Australia that is actually good! To be effective, a horror film must have a premise that is reasonably plausible, characters that are reasonably engaging, and a tale that is reasonably scary. Talk to Me checks all of these boxes, making it one of the scarier horror offerings of the year thus far.
The plot revolves around a gang of teens who uncover an embalmed hand that has the capacity to summon the dead! They discovered a “safe” approach to keep in touch with the spirits by restricting their sessions to 90 seconds and using the hand as a sort of party game to dare one another to experience the excitement of being face to face with the undead abate for 90 seconds. Things inevitably go wrong, and when one of them went too far with the spirit, they received more than they bargained for.
Danny and Michale Philippou, the twins who direct and write Talk to Me, show a raw sense of uniqueness and a good sense of dread here. They succeed in making something frightening without the normal features of jump scares, nudity, sex, drugs, and gratuitous violence. They recognise that a good horror film must first establish the major characters as individuals who are distinct and intriguing enough for the audience to identify with, as well as provide enough backstory to allow for some empathetic moments later on. As the protagonists progress farther and deeper into the plot, the terror becomes more involving. The cast of young unknown faces headed by Sophie Wilde, Joe Bird and Alexandra Jensen all gave good convincing performances.
It is also kind of refreshing to watch something not made in America for a change. The Australian influence and landscape is evident throughout the film from the looks and behaviors of the young stars, their accent and language used, and the overall surroundings. The film has a proper closure as the film makers do not feel the need to cheapen the experience by providing some silly end teaser to leave room open for a sequel. It has been a while since I last saw a good horror movie and I am happy to report Talk to Me finally broke the streak. I dare say the twins Danny and Michael are only just beginning to show their potential and we can expect goodies from them in the future.