Talk to Me

15¶ 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD

Over the years Australia has produced an abundance of talent, the problem has been keeping it, with the lure of Hollywood too strong for many of them. It’s not just its actors such as Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Hugh Jackman, but many directors like Baz Luhrmann, Peter Weir and George Miller.

Only time will tell if twin brothers Danny and Michael Philippou will continue to work down under, but with the acclaim that has come from this their directorial debut, it’s highly likely that Hollywood will dig its claws into the pair sooner rather than later.

boom reviews Talk to Me
I still think this is a really weird way to propose.

After the death of her mother to what was deemed an accidental suicide, 17-year-old Mia (Sophie Wilde) is understandably a little lost, so it’s no surprise that she spends a lot of time at the house of her friend Jade (Alexandra Jensen), using her family almost as surrogates.

They decide to go to a party, taking with them Jade’s younger brother Riley (Joe Bird). It’s your usual teen gathering, but takes a strange turn when a ceramic hand is produced. Apparently it’s a gateway to souls in limbo, which can be communicated with once held and asked to talk to. It goes a stage further however when the souls can be seemingly invited in to the body, which can provide some surreal and bizarre and entertainment for those gathered round.

But although it comes across more like a side show at a fair, the teens don’t really know what they’re messing with, but when Mia volunteers to do it, she’s about to find out.

boom reviews Talk to Me
So of I'm not using either of my hands to move the hand...

Although it presents itself as something unique, it is in fact simply a twist on the standard sťance scenario, just with the board and cursor updated with a ceramic hand. It’s a device that allows gullible teens to contact the dead.

That said, the Philippou brothers do an excellent job in its execution, making it an edgy, tense and atmospheric affair. Part of its success is down to the performances of the teens involved, especially that of Wilde and her Mia, who makes the perfect horror heroine.

The rest is down to its directors, who are highly respectful of the genre, and infuse it with a fair amount of effective elements that are bound to make you jump.

Perhaps its only issue is that of pacing, where towards the end it loses a little momentum in favour of reinforcing some unnecessary family story points, but it doesn’t detract much from all the things it does right.

A cracking debut then, that certainly showcases some fledgling talent. It would be great if they continued to work on home soil, but don’t be surprised to see them Hollywood bound in the not so distant future. Either way, it’s likely to be a win/win for audiences.

we give this four out of five

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