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August 27, 2023

A series of unfortunate events

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Talk To Me ☆☆☆ 1/2

Director: Danny & Michael Philippou

Starring: Sophie Wilde, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird


ou know how when an authority on whatever the subject at hand shares an opinion, your own opinion may feel unimportant or uninformed? But perhaps, maybe, today we can reconcile with the fact that opinions can be subjective, and on the off-chance you meet Peter Jackson he’ll forgive you for partially disagreeing with him?

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Peter Jackson, who likes making cinematic epics just as much as he likes making splatter comedies, has described Talk To Me as intense, fearless, strong and valuable. This is a loose quote, but it’s safe to state that the director of Bad Taste and Braindead thought the Philippou twins were really bringing something great to the table, which we can only assume is smeared in blood, snot, and braaaaiiiinnsssss.

A note on Danny and Michael Philippou: they sound like absolute menaces to society as children, and it is not at all surprising, in that context, that they made the film they made, with the characters they conjured up.

Sophie Wilde is Mia, who has to be the most unlikable character ever in the entirety of the horror genre. She crosses boundaries and makes unacceptably terrible decisions throughout the movie, but is also the scream queen for this one, and you will have to reconcile with her presence and utter lack of intelligence and foresight when it matters most.

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Yes, if you’re watching a horror movie, you have to be prepared for some stupidity, no matter how sophisticated the characters. But Mia is both emotional and reckless, allowing her vulnerability to get the best of her in a situation that had already revealed itself to be perilous.

But to be fair, the kids are exactly how kids are, by the way. Plus one for realism.

Kids at the ages of 16-19 are at their foolish best, they’re often really quite gross, and inevitably someone convinces someone that (insert
activity of choice: off-limits party, body piercing, substance experimentation) is actually a really good idea.

What Talk To Me wins on is the premise – a dead psychic’s hand, embalmed forever as a connection to the netherworld – and on the jum-pscares. And if we were to minus all the graphic scenes of violence and self harm, which do seem a bit excessive (plus the ‘warts and all’ photography) this one is an all-round winner. It’s terrifying, shocking, a little bit heartbreaking, and is filmed just so well that despite Mia’s many, many trespasses, you find yourself waiting to see how it will all end.

Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only *** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection

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