A24 has revealed the official trailer and poster for Talk to Me, the terrifying debut of Danny & Michael Phillipou that took festival audiences by storm.
Opening in theaters on July 28, Talk to Me stars Sophie Wilde, Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji, Zoe Terakes, and Chris Alosi.
In the film, Mia is a teenage girl living in a stylish suburban Australian home. Today is the anniversary of her mother’s death, and the house feels cold.
She’s spent most of her time since the in- cident away from home and away from her quiet, distant dad, living with her closest friend Jade, and doing her best to act like things are okay – and they are, mostly.
Circulating on social media are clips of an intoxicating but dangerous new high, one that looks like a fake viral video: Mia’s classmates sit clasping a white ceramic hand, eyes blacked out and convulsing as conjured spirits speak through their bodies. It’s supposed to be an insane rush (if it’s real, that is), and Mia is willing to try anything to get out of her head.
So, she agrees to get strapped into a chair and go for the ride. Light the candle. Grab the hand. Say “talk to me,” and invite the spirit in. But don’t let it go past 90 seconds, or whoever you welcome in is going to want to stay.
Mia soon discovers that both the high and the danger of the hand are very, very real, as first-time filmmakers (and twin brothers) Danny and Michael Phillipou weave together a stylish and blisteringly scary horror film that explores com- ing-of-age touchpoints with a singular, deceptively simple premise, unwinding the intensity of first love and loss and the thrill and terror of chasing an unforgettable new escape.
“With the movies that we make, whether it’s horror or any other genre, we really want our stories to have a strong emo- tional core. The stuff we want to create, we want it to work on multiple levels,” says Michael Phillipou.
His brother Danny emphasizes that the movie is clearly and confidently a work of genre. “We don’t want to be scared of something that’s a horror movie. We want to embrace that it’s a horror film, and be proud of making a horror film. That’s the new wave of horror, where it’s exploring so many different things.”
Talk to Me is a film that, like the characters in it, invites audiences to take the hand of something mysterious and relinquish control to the moment. In this case, it’s actually the hands of two rambunctious cinephiles in Danny and Michael Phillippou.
Trust in the filmmakers, and you will be rewarded with a rush that will take you straight to the edge of hell (or at least, to the edge of your seat), where reckless teenagers and terrifying, malevolent spirits collide in an unholy and unforgettable union.
Filmmaker Danny Phillippou says that alongside all the scares, a key element of the film is the ways we relate to one another: “Losing someone is the worst feeling in the world, but the main theme for me wasn’t as much grief as it was connections between people: real ones and forced ones.”
Talk to Me is fueled by the lengths people will go to feel alive, to feel powerful, to feel loved and whole. “We are always interested in the age where you go from being a kid to being an adult, where you’re still taking risks but now the consequences are more brutal. You are your own worst enemy,” the directors explain.
“This film is a sincere look at not knowing how to cope with your feelings as a teenager and finding out- lets that mess with your mind.”