I Let You In.
Directed by Michael Philippou & Danny Philippou
When a group of friends discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand, they become hooked on the new thrill, until one of them goes too far and unleashes terrifying supernatural forces.
The phrase 'Elevated Horror' is thrown around a lot these days. What exactly makes horror elevated, I'm yet to figure out but I am fascinated by seeing the evolution of the genre that smashes the best elements together to create an entirely new and equally terrifying beast. Talk to Me combines the best of past and present - an unyielding fresh take on the possession trope, with visceral imagery and indisputable talent behind the camera.
When an embalmed hand is used to conjure spirits, a group of Australian teens unsurprisingly push things too far when the spirits begin unleashing chaos. Led by Sophie Wilde who gives a show-stealing lead performance as Mia, the film explores a unique processing of grief as the past literally comes back to haunt her.
Danny and Michael Philippou jump from their chaotic online persona RackaRacka to the big screen in a more mature story that still manages to encapsulate the untamed energy that helped build their brand. It's easy to go cliché with cheap jump scares and things that go bump in the night but the Philippou brothers don't shy away from grotesque imagery designed to stick with audiences.
What stood out even compared to other recent horror successes is Talk to Me's sound design. Unassumingly getting under your skin, the filmmakers use sound to envelop audiences, using it as an effective tool to play tricks on the audience. Using surround sound to its advantage builds atmosphere and suspense, bleeding the lines between whether the sound came from the film or your cinema.
A bold and confident directorial debut, Talk to Me proves how powerful storytelling, compelling actors and innovative filmmaking can overcome a small budget to create an impactful and memorable final experience. If this is a debut, I highly anticipate what Danny and Michael Philippou cook up next.