On the second day of October Frights, Carmilla gives to you, a review of Talk to Me.
Released by A24, Talk to Me is a rollercoaster of a horror flick with gross out mutilation and some
shocking scenes. Sophie Wilde is compelling as Mia, a young woman whose mum died two years
earlier. It’s her need to understand how and why her mum died which drives most of the plot.
The opening scene and the rest of the film are only tangentially related. As with Evil Dead Rise, the
first scene is designed to be shocking, but explains nothing about the rest of the film and does not
introduce the main characters. It seems to be a way of throwing scares at the audience before the
work of building characters begins. Are we to believe that horror lovers cannot sit through a film
which doesn’t have at least two jump scares in the first five minutes? Perhaps this is the visual
alternative to the advice to fiction writers to begin stories in media res.
I’m a seasoned horror lover, but the first time I watched Talk to Me, it took me a good thirty minutes
to come down from the adrenaline rush, and if that doesn’t make you want to watch it, I’m not sure
Before I go discuss any spoilers, I would like to share a few links. October Frights runs from 10 – 15
October each year. It’s a great chance to peruse some content from horror and paranormal authors,
and you’ll find those links below.
And if you want a spooky replica hand, A24 are selling them on their website:
The following blogs are involved in the October Frights event. Please check them out and show them
Always Another Chapter
Be Afraid of the Dark
Carmilla Voiez British Horror Author (The guest author is here)
Angela Yuriko Smith
James P. Nettles
Silver Hollow Stories (You are here)
Talk to Me trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGo4wfCejsk
Talk to Me spoilers below:
The party hand (as A24 call it) is rumoured to be an embalmed medium’s hand within a ceramic
casing covered in graffiti. After lighting a candle, you hold the hand and say, “Talk to me”, and a
ghost or demonic spirit will appear before you. You then say, “I let you in,” to allow the spirit to
possess your body, and are rewarded with a drug-like high.
Video footage is recorded and shared on social media. The inference is that if there is a camera
between you and whatever is happening, you can experience the thrill without any sense of
responsibility. This comes through most clearly during the opening scene where people eagerly
record what appears to be a man’s mental breakdown.
The other theme of the movie seems to be the importance of communication. The way people ask to
speak to spirits contrast with the lack of open communication with each other, shown most clearly in
the relationship between Mia and her father. Their failure to talk about Mia’s mother’s death pushes
the young woman to risk a friend’s life to speak directly to her mum.
There are some gross out moments. Daniel French-kissing the family dog is almost as deeply
unpleasant as the infamous scene in Requiem for a Dream. But it’s the self-mutilation of teenage
Riley that’s genuinely upsetting.
The end of the film brings the story full circle in a satisfying way, reminding me somewhat of Jacob’s
Ladder and Flatliners. I think, on the whole, directors Danny & Michael Philippou did a fine job with
this big screen debut.
Return tomorrow for a review of Evil Dead Rise.
Carmilla Voiez is a British horror and fantasy writer living in Scotland. Her influences include
Graham Masterton, Thomas Ligotti, and Clive Barker. She is pansexual and passionate about
intersectional feminism and human rights. Carmilla has a First-Class Bachelor’s degree in
Creative Writing and Linguistics. Her work includes stories in horror anthologies published
by Crystal Lake Publishing, Clash Books and Mocha Memoirs; a co-authored Southern Gothic
Horror novel; two self-published graphic novels, and the award-winning, dark
fantasy/horror Starblood trilogy. Graham Masterton described the second book in her
Starblood trilogy as a “compelling story in a hypnotic, distinctive voice that brings her eerie
world vividly to life”. Carmilla is also a freelance editor and mentor who enjoys making