“Talk to Me” (A24)
By OSV News
Australian horror yarn starts with the premise that by grasping a mysterious severed and embalmed hand and saying the titular phrase, people can conjure up, and subsequently be briefly possessed by, the spirits of the deceased. A teen girl (Sophie Wilde) still mourning the recent death of her mother and seeking popularity with her peers tries the process, which has become a feature of parties given by her circle of acquaintances. But the thrill turns into terror, eventually blighting not only her life but the lives of her best friend (Alexandra Jensen) and the latter’s younger brother (Joe Bird).
While creative and somewhat fresh, co-directors and brothers Danny and Michael Philippou’s film, scripted by the former along with Bill Hinzman, is too shocking for casual moviegoers and features downbeat interpersonal dynamics that give the narrative a grim tone even when frightful events aren’t transpiring.
Brief but extreme gory violence, perverse behavior, gruesome images, a couple of profanities, several milder oaths, pervasive rough and much crude language, fleeting sexual slang. The OSV News classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.