You only need to scroll through the returns on this year’s biggest film successes to see that audiences are clearly chasing more original, solid fare. While franchise ventures quickly cool from projectors, in rides a strikingly original concept, complete with a stupendous screenplay to boot, that puts bums on seats where Indy, Magic Mike, Shazam, and The Flash couldn’t.
The latest film to emerge suddenly from a black spot and take over the unsound danger zone to the box office is Talk to Me, a relatively inexpensive indie-horror from Australia that no summary here does justice.It’s been a while since theatres have been blessed with an original, imaginative new horror concept – one that may, inevitably, lead to sequels if this one achieves the golden figure the execs are looking for – but this one, crafted by a couple of up and coming YouTube video vets, is up there with A Nightmare on Elm Street, Final Destination, and Scream, when it comes to instant horror classic territory.
A tight, tense time that doesn’t let up for a second of its 95-minute duration, Talk to Me sees a group of teenagers conducting seances with a mummified hand. While spooked, they’re all too intrigued to stop communicating with their match in their afterlife, but when Mia (Sophie Wilde) discovers they’ve opened a portal to hell, and one of their own ends up devastatingly injured due to messing with the wrong spite, she decides to lead the charge in ending the connection.
A much darker, more chilling addition to the genre than some of the efforts of late – even the later Scream films have emphasized comedy before the frights – Talk to Me is a perfect example of all of a film’s elements blending beautifully together to a cool logline.
With great performances by a stellar young Aussie cast (particularly newcomer Sophie Wilde), superb editing, sound and production design, and imaginative, slick direction by a couple of filmmakers in Danny and Michael Philippou aka RackaRacka, who are no doubt already meeting with Hollywood heavyweights about their rosy future, Talk to Me is as truly terrifying as it is exceptional.