Give a Hand to “Talk To Me,” the Artsy Horror Movie from Talented Aussie Brothers

The blunt force trauma of being a modern teenager receives its horror film embodiment in Danny and Michael Philippou’s story of friends who thrill to a psychic portal unleashed by a disembodied hand that foists dread into their heads in the often thrilling Talk To Me (B). This nifty A-24 Australian import featuring the eerie embalmed handshake sure to bring all the boys and girls to the yard starts strong and builds decent momentum, with resultant head-trips both expansive and concussive. The co-directors are particularly adept at drawing their audience magnetically into the throes of outlandish juvenile antics, a veritable arm wrestle with the supernatural, and they rarely give up their grip. Among the cunning conjurers, Sophie Wilde as our bedeviled heroine and Joe Bird as a wide-eyed innocent are standouts. Both dexterous young actors could varsity letter in possession. Other characters barely registered but were engaging enough to sometimes buttress the blow of the body counts. Creepy practical effects, shocking jump scares, startling sound design and a few surprising peccadillos keep the slight but mighty proceedings fresh amidst the digital dimensions and massive head wounds. Serendipitously, the most bonkers sequence in the hands-first haunting involves a rogue foot. For most of its brisk running time, this head-banging handmade tale definitely has legs.

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