Talk to Me Review

What if we opened the door, but we didn't shut it?

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell
Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Talk to Me is a 2022 Australian horror movie with supernatural elements that address challenging themes like death and asks how far you’d go to see your loved ones again. It is directed by popular YouTubers Danny and Michael Philippou, who debut as feature film directors, and written by Philippou and Bill Hinzman, based on a concept by Daley Pearson. In this review, we’ll delve into why Talk to Me is the most frightening movie of 2023 and A24’s top horror film in their extensive collection.

The Story

Image: A24

The story revolves around a circle of friends who stumble upon the ability to summon spirits with a preserved hand. Their fascination with this newfound power grows until one of them takes it too far, resulting in the unleashing of horrifying supernatural entities. They must work together to rid themselves of these spirits to save one of their own before it is too late.

Although the plot seems cliche, Mia’s story reveals deeper themes due to her struggles with her mother’s suicide and the aftermath. The trailers don’t do the film justice, implying that these details are insignificant when they are crucial to the plot. After watching the film, I realized that it is more than just a typical horror movie that the trailers make it out to be. Although the film’s logic may become a bit uncertain at points, the Philippou brothers do an excellent job of avoiding cliches and keeping the plot original, which makes it easy to overlook any faults.

The Actors

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Talk to Me features a young Australian cast with few acting credits, but this shouldn’t stop you from seeing the film because the cast delivers outstanding performances, despite their inexperience. However, the performance of the three cast members stands out from the rest, and I hope to see them in future horror films.

Sophie Wilde’s performance as Mia effectively conveys the character’s complex emotions. Mia’s fear, emotional detachment, and longing for her mother are all palpable in Wilde’s portrayal, adding depth and tension to the film’s overarching motifs. Overall, Mia’s actions and emotions are a crucial component of the film’s narrative, enhancing the viewing experience for audiences. I recently lost an important father figure in my life, and Mia’s conflicting emotions resonated with my own experience, which amplified the movie even more. Even though I have a solid aversion to occult objects, I can empathize with her desire to use the hand to reconnect with her mother, despite its negative consequences. This has prompted me to question whether I would make the same decision if given the opportunity.

The performance of Joe Bird in his portrayal of a possessed character in the film is one of the best “possessed” performances in recent memory. With his exceptional talent and remarkable intensity, it is virtually impossible not to be filled with dread for him as you watch the movie. You will remain on the edge of your seat, gripped by anticipation and curiosity, until the credits finally roll.

Jade and Riley’s mother in the film, played by Miranda Otto, provides comic relief through her well-delivered one-liners that will make you laugh until it hurts. She is also a well-written parent, which is unusual in horror films, as she seems to understand her children and their actions. This is a unique aspect since, in most horror films, the characters’ parents are noticeably absent, leaving the audience wondering why they aren’t involved in the film’s events.

The Scares and Laughs

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Talk to Me impresses because it avoids the typical horror movie tactics of jump scares, excessive special effects, and tacky practical effects. Instead, it uses a few scenes of graphic violence to create discomfort while building suspense through supernatural moments that play on the fear of death to frighten the audience. The film achieves this with minimal special effects and an outstanding score that ties everything together seamlessly.

In addition, Talk to Me surprisingly had many humorous moments placed in the right spots to balance out the more intense and scary scenes. This caused a lot of tension and unease in the audience as they weren’t sure whether to laugh or be scared because they knew something terrible would happen. The film’s skillful balance of these emotions helped the audience connect emotionally with the characters and become invested in their story.

The Verdict – It Grabs You and Doesn’t Let Go

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Talk to Me skillfully delves into the notion that grief and death can lure evil entities from beyond. It also offers a unique perspective on tired horror genres and boasts exceptional performances by young actors who deliver deep and thought-provoking character portrayals. Unlike many horror flicks, the final scene in Talk to Me is gripping, and the payoff is hugely satisfying. Although the film’s logic may seem shaky at times, it pales compared to its ability to captivate and terrify its audience, leaving them with an intense sense of dread rarely experienced in horror films.

- This article was updated on September 7th, 2023

About The Author

Matthew Kevin Mitchell has been a contributing writer for Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion since 2022. Matthew primarily covers Manga like One Piece, horror movies like Scream, and survival horror games like Dead by Daylight. His favorite moment came during his first press event covering Scream 6 for AotF. He hails from Denver, Colorado, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Regis University. When he isn’t scaring himself silly or writing, he loves to play ice hockey, spoil his dog, and drink an unhealthy amount of coffee.


  • Score: 5 / 5
  • Available On:
  • Published By: A24
  • Developed By: Causeway Films, Bankside Films, and Talk to Me Holdings
  • Genre: Supernatural Horror
  • US Release Date: July 28, 2023
  • Reviewed On: The Big Screen
  • Quote: "Talk to Me is a deeply moving film that delves into the themes of loss and the fragility of life in a masterful way. The film's expert use of suspense and fear surrounding death creates a haunting atmosphere rarely seen in horror movies. The young cast delivers incredible performances that will captivate viewers, and the ending is incredibly satisfying. Talk to Me is the most terrifying horror movie of 2023 and a standout addition to A24's extensive horror catalog."
Review Policy