Talk to Me (2023)


Location: Browing Cinema, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

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A coming-of-age tale wrapped inside a cautionary tale of communicating with the dead is a fun subgenre (see, e.g., 1986's Witchboard, which is currently being rebooted). In Talk to Me, both the coming-of-age vibes and the scares are given a deeper resonance than its peers thanks to the slick direction, breezy comedic moments, and actors willing to ground potential stock characters in actual pathos.

The result shapes the stretched limits of Ozploitation films into an instant horror film classic that speaks to both modern-day youth performance on social media and family hangups from time immemorial. All this comes from 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 something meant to stay on the other side.