“Horror is a fun way to explore the darkest parts of humanity”: Michael and Danny Philippou on Talk to Me
Talk to Me is emerging as one of the most talked-about horrors of the summer. And it’s not without justification. Taking the well-worn genre trope of possession, but delivering it in a wholly unique and contemporary way, the film follows young Mia, who is mourning the death of her mother and struggling to know how to fit in. Desperate to escape the company of her grief-stricken father, she seeks solace in her best mate’s family. When they have the chance to try out the latest teenage fad at a house party, Mia jumps at the chance as a way of gaining acceptance from her peers and getting high to forget her problems. The catch is the new fad is allowing the dead to momentarily possess you through grasping what is alleged to be the embalmed hand of a Satanist…
The Upcoming had the chance to chat with Australian twins Michael and Danny Philippou during Sundance London about how they graduated from their million-views-strong action comedy horror YouTube channel Racka Racka to their first feature. They also told us about the inspiration for the story having come from discovering a video of a teenager experiencing a bad drug trip, but instead of helping him, everyone is filming and laughing at him instead. They also shared how they achieved a perfect balance of in-camera effects, with the help of prosthetics and CGI, the importance of casting real-life teenagers to bring authenticity to their young characters (while also keeping them sane during the more extreme scene shoots) and how, for them, horror is a medium that allows us to explore issues such as mental health, grief and how people may use drugs as a way to escape but can instead unleash repressed emotions in a damaging way.
Talk to Me is released nationwide on 28th July 2023. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for Talk to Me here: