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  • Gareth Crook

Talk to Me (2022) - 7/10

I always feel the need to caveat that I’m not much of a horror fan. That’s not strictly true though, I’m just picky. I shy away from gore, films like the Saw franchise and the bloody awful Hostel leave me cold. I need substance. The question is, does Talk to Me have it? It’s certainly attention grabbing. The opening scene at an Aussie house party with a clearly troubled man with a knife gives an inkling of where this might go, but first we need to meet some folks and find that substance. Enter Mia (Sophie Wilde), Jade (Alexandra Jensen) and her little brother Riley (Joe Bird). Mia’s lost her mum, doesn’t get on with her dad. Jade and Riley don’t really get on with their mum and dad’s no where to be seen. This isn’t so much important as to highlight they’re tight. Looking out for each other in a peer group that likes to apply pressure, push buttons and mess around with possessed embalmed hands. Yep you read right, that’s the hook here. No shock it’s on the poster. Go to a party, get strapped in a chair by the irritating Hayley (Zoe Terakes) and say “Talk to me”. There’s rules to the game, but that’s not important. Mia is lost. Looking for someone, something to belong to and so excepts the challenge. Cue some freaky cuts revealing dead souls looking to return through the vessel of whoever’s holding the hand. Things of course get a little out of control. Of course they do, but it’s all pretty fun, to begin. Kids mucking around. Having fun. Hanging out. Messing with the underworld. Until… Riley has a go. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but it’s obvious who he’s going to connect to and when he does, all hell breaks loose. It’s creepy and gory in the right places. It hits plenty of tropes, but uses them well and I’ll forgive any of them for the simple reason that it’s all really well acted. Particularly Wilde, she carries this. Those around her are all good, but a lot of this is on her shoulders and she gives it real weight. The deeper we get, the further it digs. Pushing this way beyond the standard teenage rage driven horror. It ploughs its dark themes carefully and thoughtfully. Don’t get too comfy though, this has layers that go darker than certainly I saw coming. If you want an inventive horror that keeps you guessing and genuinely engaged, give this a go. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly got substance.



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