Talk To Me (2023)
Stupid children do stupid things. I was never anywhere near exciting enough to get involved in such wanton paranormal carelessness in my youth. I once briefly considered attending a séance that I had been invited to as a teenager, but thought better of it, knowing what a load of old cobblers it was (plus I was probably a bit scared and wary, truth be told).
Give me the opportunity to 'talk to the hand' and I'd be off, stupid friends or no stupid friends. I never needed this much validation.
And of course this makes sense. If we were all as daft as those featured here, then this would never have been made. In the same way I wouldn't have gone to a remote cabin in the woods without checking my mobile signal before agreeing to it. We should be thankful that the characters here are morons. Hence, we can safely point and laugh at the horror, rather than become truly uncomfortable about it.
To be fair, I'd already searched A24's gift shop for a replica hand to buy, so I might leave it on a shelf to encourage visitors not to stay too long, so they have done a good job in presenting a new (and ultimately marketable) way to contact the dark side, which is just desperate to get a foothold in the real world here. What's so great about this reality that any demon, or whatever, would want to go to all the trouble to reach is still a quandary I conjure with every time, however. Whatever, you do you, demon. I shall continue to sit here with my popcorn and watch you try.
Essentially a group of friends open a door to the spirit world and are surprised when they let something horrid into the real world. Not original in the least, really, until you present the method by which this is achieved. That much is an innovation on an old premise.
The performances are pretty much what you would expect from a movie of this type. It's more important for you to be able to portray physical suffering than subtle acting skills, and the cast do this perfectly well. Honestly, this feels like a movie that will be embraced by a younger, just old enough, audience, the same as the latest Scream episode and no doubt the upcoming Saw X as well.
Honestly, its aim is true, and while intermittently brutal and graphic, it never truly reaches disturbing. This is firmly posturing coquettishly, switchblade in hand, at an audience less demanding of its frights.