Directed by: RackaRacka (Danny & Michael Philippou)
Distributed by: A24
Written by Alexander Reams
For certain readers, the names Danny and Michael Philippou could be a keyhole into the past. Their YouTube channel, RackaRacka, was part of the “Golden Age” of the platform, where their stunt and fail videos garnered particular acclaim. The transition to feature films seemed inevitable after many previous stars of the platform had their own, and in 2023 their debut feature “Talk to Me” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to near-“Hereditary” acclaim, which set the stage for all eyes to be on this years A24 summer horror offering. Two years after her mother died, Mia (Sophie Wilde) struggles to deal with the loss and mend her relationship with her father.
She decides to sneak out with her friends Jade (Alexandra Jensen) and Riley (Joe Bird) to a party where an embalmed hand sits in the middle of the room, contorted to look like it is reaching out. The eerie aura it projects from its appearance sets a dreadful tone for what follows. Mia, in the terrific decision-making mindset she’s in, decides to use the hand to try to communicate with her mom. An idea so stupid, only a horror movie character would do it. However, the Philippous never condemn Sophie, instead they show her in a sympathetic light. This light is only heightened during the final act, which concludes in a final gut punch that provides an emotional catharsis for the overall arc of the film, but it’s a surprise to see when a film will “go there.” “Talk to Me” is one of the finer horror films to hit screens this year, a film that builds itself on practical effects, lighting, unique camera movements, and ultimately the minds of Danny and Michael Philippou, which A24 gambled on, and this writer would certainly say it paid off.
“Talk to Me” Trailer