Talk to Me Review | A Compelling Blend of Superficial Fears and Mental Trauma

The new Australian film Talk to Me, directed by Danny and Michael Philippou, is not a story that blows your mind by introducing something extremely unique. It is actually how you end up being an empathizer for the central character by the time the movie ends that makes it an exciting creation. And also, the Gen Z setting for this horror film makes it different from the usual template.

Mia, our central protagonist, has been struggling after losing her mother. Her relationship with her father was not smooth after her mother’s demise, and the company of her close friend Jade and her family kept Mia going. One day, during one of these teen parties, Mia decides to volunteer for this black magic trick where she will touch a hand statue, and when she says Talk to Me, she will get to see the spirit of a dead person. Even though it was scary, that experience had an addictive nature. In the movie, we see how things take a bad turn when the friends decide to do it one more time.

In the initial moments, the idea feels pretty basic. And just like any other horror film, you would have those questions in your head judging the characters for their immature liking towards something evidently dangerous. But the story kind of enters a dilemma with the Riley episode. The way it connects to Mia’s trauma creates a very captivating conflict, and the screenplay uses it as a tool to explore the mind-space of a mentally disturbed person and show what happens on the other end.

What is particularly appealing about the movie is the minimalism in terms of the way it creates that creepiness. The budget is mainly consumed by the prosthetic makeup for those spirits. Other than that, directors Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou are using visual tools to make things compelling for us. Some of the transition scenes and match cuts they have used are really impressive, and the cinephile in you will be very impressed by how they managed to create an impact through minimal tools. The sound design is top-notch, and the screenplay places crucial information very casually, in the beginning to create a wow moment for the audience towards the end.

Sophie Wilde, as the central character Mia, is pretty much the one who is shouldering the whole film as everything is designed around that character. Even though it is difficult to connect with the character in the initial stages, we gradually empathize with Mia, and Sophie’s portrayal has that tenderness one would imagine in such a character. Alexandra Jensen as Jade and Joe Bird as Riley were pretty good in their roles, along with Miranda Otto, Otis Dhanji, and Zoe Terakes.

There isn’t so much to talk about the idea of this film as it is not doing anything exceptionally different from the existing pattern. But the conviction with which they have used that hand in the script and how it eventually became a tool to get close to a character and also how swiftly it sort of explained the backstory of almost all the spirits gives the movie that end-punch which kind of makes us backtrack the whole thing.

Final Thoughts

It is actually how you end up being an empathizer for the central character by the time the movie ends that makes it an exciting creation.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.