‘Talk to Me’ Review: RackaRacka YouTubers Create Fresh Horror With Spooky Seance Game

‘Talk to Me’ Review: RackaRacka YouTubers Create Fresh Horror With Spooky Seance Game

‘Talk to Me’ Review: RackaRacka YouTubers Create Fresh Horror With Spooky Seance Game

Forget the Ouija board. with Talk to me, A spooky new conduit for channeling the dead has come into play. It all starts with a ceramic hand that is eerily lifelike. The stories of its creation are varied, but all unsettling in the sense of a juicy urban legend. The game involved with this cryptic limb is simple: hold his cold fingers in yours. Light a candle. Address the spirit world by saying, “Speak to me.” Surrender your body by saying, “I will let you in.” You opened a door for the dead. You will be obsessed. Blow out this candle before 90 seconds have elapsed or but.

In “or else” all hell can break loose. In their feature debut, the YouTuber twins transformed co-directors Danny and Michael Philippou (aka RackaRacka(Opens in a new window)) draw audiences into their distinctive hellscape with a tight-knit tale of teenage outcasts — and some startlingly sick practical effects.

what is Talk to me Above?

Written by Danny Philippou and Bill Hinzman, this Aussie horror film follows Mia (Sophie Wilde), a grieving teenager who hungers to connect after the death of her mother. A wall of silence has grown between her and her father. Her best friend Jade (Alexandra Jensen) is loyal but gets distracted by a new boyfriend (Otis Dhanji). So when obsession parties promising escapes pop up, Mia might be over-zealous to venture into the unknown. In the beginning they are all fun and twisted games. But when the game takes too long, Jade’s sweet little brother, Riley (Joe Bird), pays a cruel price. While his terrifying mother (Miranda Otto) searches for simple answers, Mia and her friend must peer into the abyss of Limbo to rescue Riley.

Within this setup, the Philippous have plenty of room to cramp in grief, youthful anxiety, and sexual panic. The spirits that overwhelm the teen’s body are often of the wildly horny or outrageous variety, giddy to utter worrying threats or perform a kinky act involving a licking dog or a pair of bare toes. These bouts of nerve-wracking action are exhilarating. Part of that success belongs to the cast – both the teenage actors playing the possessed and the sticky ghouls revealed by the hand. But the directing duo deserve credit for keeping their central conceit not only creepy, but dripping with disgust.

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Talk to meThe practical effects of will make you scream… and choke.

The pottery hand is a suitably spooky handshake to think of Talk to me‘s world of dark spirits. From there, the performers violently throw their bodies back into the chair as if the spirit’s onslaught on their form has a violent physical impact. The camera whips up with them, throwing the audience into the thrill of intoxication, chasing the thrown head and terrified expression. Large dark contacts make the pupils of the possessed’s eyes appear alien. Their faces lose their color and become a pale blue wrinkle as the blood flees from their childish cheeks. But that’s just the view of tourists in the torturous realm of Limbo.

The spirits themselves come in a variety of genders, ages, and guises, but generally they all share a certain slovenliness. They are riddled with bruises, blue skin, and dark bile. Some have broken fingernails, as if they had scratched a closed coffin lid. Others are bloated as if drowned and lost in the flood. All possess a smooth, glossy sheen of—God knows—snot? Ectoplasm? drooling? These malevolent spirits race through rooms or scurry out of dark corners, and even if you shudder at their scare tactics, you might get lost in their maddening details. Sharp cuts add panache to the interventions, making the ghosts appear and disappear in the blink of an eye. Of course, as soon as Mia sees them, we know that they are always nearby – visible or not – always craving the touch of a warm hand and the call of candlelight. In this way, exciting stews are preserved even when there are no ghouls in sight.

An ominous score causes shivers as the ghosts push the boundaries of the game and invade Mia’s life day and night. Because the film focuses on their experiences, the directors tie us to their way of seeing the world. Every dark corner, every strange noise could be a lost soul screaming for attention. But after breaking the rules of the game, Mia, along with us, is at a loss as to what could happen now. The Philippous revel in throwing us all into panicked battles – physical, psychological, and potentially fateful. It’s all twisted fun.

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Talk to me stands below teen horror by keeping it real.

These aren’t the drop-dead gorgeous teens of 2000s studio horror, however Talk to me creates a similar smooth shine as its manufacture. Not only are these Aussie youth plagued by poltergeists, but also by bad hair days, chipped nail polish, awkward flirts and an aching need to fit in. Wilde channels Mia’s desperation for acceptance in a captivating performance that consists of stolen, wry smiles and unnerving screams. The other teens suit her, offering performances that are more grounded and gritty than the scruffy and wooden or glamorously theatrical that Hollywood horror tends to produce. But it’s the mother who really stands out.

In teen-centric horror, parents are often marginalized or virtually non-existent to the tormented teens and whatever evil stalks them. In Talk to me, Otto plays the kind of mother who demands absolute honesty from her children and gives it back by clearly stating her expectations and boundaries before leaving them at home alone. But it won’t be enough to save them from the terror. Her anger at this permeates the second half of the film, providing a heartbreaking obstacle to Mia’s plan to save Riley. Of course, after what happened last time, what mother would want this bad influence near her lover and leave abused boys?

While Wilde must shoulder the emotional storytelling and does so with aplomb, Otto plays a mother so real that the most outrageous parts of the film feel authentic, tied to that line of recognizable parental intensity.

Exciting, Talk to me it’s not all dark And that’s part of his power.

One can easily distance oneself from the misery of some horror protagonists. We tell ourselves that we would never act the way they do. We wouldn’t play with the clearly evil toy. We wouldn’t trust the grinning tourist. We wouldn’t climb a high, swaying pole for online strength. but Talk to me dispels that distancing judgment by taking the time to enjoy the fun before the fear.

After the rules of the game are introduced, the Philippou brothers unleash a kinetic montage, disrupting the possessions of the celebrating teenagers. Although scary, this paranormal exploration feels like like a party, the kind where you might act recklessly and expose your youthful — and presumably invincible — bodies to sex, drugs, alcohol… or ghosts. Indeed, the obsession is treated as if it were a shot or a drug trip – a delicious challenge to prove yourself and entertain those watching. Mia and her friends eat up the chance. And even when things get gross, it’s easy to connect with the vicarious thrill of it all. There is glory in the foolish naivety of youth. This revelry makes the turn to violence – unrelenting and inexplicable – all the more harrowing. Because just before we weren’t having fun? The speed at which it slips through our fingers is all too real and frightening.

Finally, Talk to me is an incredibly chilling horror offering, thanks to powerful performances, chilling creature designs, a splash of blood and gore, and handy effects that will blow your mind and chill your spine. Like his sister in the midnight panel of Sundance 2023, birth/rebirth, Talk to me is the rare horror trip that knows exactly when it’s supposed to end – in one fell swoop. If you’re looking for freaky scary fun, be sure to reach out and touch this one.

Talk to me was originally reviewed from Sundance 2023.(Opens in a new window)

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