A24 has delivered some of the best horror films of the last decade. They have fully set a tone and expectation for their horror films. They are going to be a weird, dark, gore-filled, f*cked-up mess, but not always scary. Talk to Me is no exception.
The film follows two best friends, Mia and Jade, as well as some of their school chums, and Jade’s younger brother, Riley. According to social media, some of Mia and Jade’s friends have a magic totem that can possess people. Jade thinks it’s BS, while Mia is highly intrigued. So, the girls, along with Riley, sneak out of the house to a party where they come face to face with the Hand.
This hand is allegedly the severed hand of a powerful medium that could contact the dead. The hand is embalmed and encased in ceramic with tons of writing all over it. In order to contact the dead you have to hold the hand and say the phrase, “Talk to me.” Then, you’ll see of horrific ghost that you allow to possess you for 90 seconds with the words, “I let you in.”
Mia volunteers and has the possession experience of a lifetime. Everyone becomes obsessed with seeing and allowing the ghosts in. However, after a warning is not heeded, things go too far. Now, Mia is being possessed without the hand, and so much more!
TALK TO ME IS A WARNING TO NOT MESS WITH THINGS YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND
Talk to Me sets the tone immediately with a stabbing, and violent suicide in the first 3 minutes. The possession itself toys with addiction by portraying it as an addictive high for those involved. The ghost designs are disgusting in the best way allowing them to shock, while also being so gross you can’t look away.
When watching the film I asked myself if I would do it. Would I hold the hand and play the possession game? The answer was an immediate HELLO NO. I’m not messing with the spirit world. The movie is also a warning to those who may have an opportunity to open doors they do not understand. That said, the film while being a ghost story is also equally a tragic story of grief which I didn’t see coming.
The entire young cast is impressive when having to do the heavy lifting that this story asks for. However, Sophia Wilde, who plays Mia, had to do some major heavy lifting. We learn that Mia’s mother has semi-recently unalived herself. Throughout the film we see Mia struggle with the idea of her mother’s death, her grief, and her disconnection from her father. While also dealing with possession addiction, and a demon who contacts her that might be her mother…or is it? Wilde’s performance is absolutely magnificent.
My only critique of the film is that it’s scary. That said, I haven’t seen an A24 horror film that is. So, it wasn’t to be expected. If you’re learning for a good time, however, Talk to Me is for you!