Talk To Me is that rare indie gem of a horror movie that all of us horror fans are in desperate need of but, more often than not, don’t get. This year has been littered with horror films, including indies, big-budget films, requels, sequels, and more, but nothing comes close to being as powerful as Talk To Me. This movie feels genuinely authentic and original, even though it follows the same old pattern of grief ridden person tormented by the supernatural. We are positive there was a massive brainstorming session last year, and everybody decided to choose grief and the loss of a loved one for this year’s horror themes. Talk To Me is an allegory for drugs and is essentially a PSA for drug abuse and peer pressure. It’s also a great representation of teenagers and their experiences in the most authentic manner that doesn’t come across as written by a 40-year-old who doesn’t even understand what kids these days are saying. Let’s get straight into Talk To Me.
What happens in the movie?
Mia lost her mother two years ago, and on the anniversary day, she decides to go to a party where people are trying to connect with spirits, kind of like those “Bloody Mary” games. It’s obvious Mia hasn’t dealt with the loss of her mother, and she’s just trying to form a kind of connection that reminds her of her mother. Mia thinks that trying to speak to spirits may allow her to speak to her mother too. On her way to convince her best friend Jade to go to one of these parties with her, Mia picks up her brother, Riley and takes him home. So, Mia and Riley (Jade’s brother) are like real siblings with how connected they are, and they’re screaming their lungs out to “Chandelier” in the car when they come across a dying kangaroo on the road. The kangaroo is past saving, but they decide to put it out of its misery. At the last moment, Mia can’t do it and decides to leave it as it is so another car can find it.
Jade is supposed to be spending time with her boyfriend Daniel, who also happens to be Mia’s ex, but because it’s Mia’s mother’s Remembrance Day, Jade agrees to join her and also invites Daniel to the party. Riley also joins them, even though it may not be the greatest idea to bring an actual kid to what’s essentially a seance. Hayley, the host that conducts these to seance parties, doesn’t like Mia, and they’re not very excited to see her there, but this soon changes. When it comes time to reach out to the spirits, Mia’s the first one to volunteer. Everyone brings out their phones to shoot the events that follow; it’s something that’s been done many times, and Mia’s genuinely excited to do it.
Jade, on the other hand, has no belief in these things and thinks Hayley has everyone fooled. There are a few rules to follow to conjure the spirits. No. 1 is to have the person tied up; No. 2 is to have a lit candle to open the door and blow out the candle to close the door to the spirit limbo world; No. 3 is to say “Talk to me” after grabbing the hand; and lastly, the conjuring should not go beyond 90 seconds, or the spirits would want to stay back in our realm. Mia sees a strange man in front of her, and Hayley urges her to say the words “I let you in” so they can all have their fun time and be done with it. Mia tilts her head back and looks like she’s having a seizure until her eyes are completely black, and somebody else is talking through her. Mia points at Riley and says something like, “he’s going to smash you up,” and then proceeds to repeat a line about Riley a few times. They’re unable to grab her hand, and the timer goes off. They finally shut it down at 91 seconds, but everyone just assumes it’s all good since Mia’s back to her normal self.
A few days later, Daniel decides he wants to do it too because it looks like so much fun (kids, don’t do drugs and do not get excited over spiritual possessions, please). A much smaller group meets up at Jade’s so that Daniel can have his “life of the party” moment. Jade and Riley’s mother thinks they’re going to have a party, but everybody denies it. The spirits that come through are clearly malicious, and the one that possesses Daniel says some terrible things and becomes sexual. When you let the spirits in, they essentially learn everything about you. They use your inner desires against you and tell everybody about them.
Daniel’s possession goes horribly wrong for him, and there’s a moment where he makes out with Jade’s dog (he never looks at bulldogs the same). But, ultimately, everyone’s had a blast, so everyone starts to take turns with the hand. Just like any drug, you take a hit and feel fine, so everyone around you thinks it’s okay to do it. Finally, Riley says he wants to give it a go, and Jade is completely against it and walks out of the room with Daniel. Mia, on the other hand, thinks it’s okay and allows Riley to do it for only 50 seconds. When Riley says, “Talk to me,” his expression says he knows the person sitting across from him. He looks terrified before saying, “I’ll let you” in, but it’s too late by then. It’s Mia’s mom, and she tells her that she didn’t mean to hurt her and that it was a mistake. All things Mia already knows. When 50 seconds have passed, Hayley urges them to stop, but Mia wants to go on because it’s her mother. It ends up being two minutes.
Suddenly, Riley is bashing his head on the table and pulling out his eyeball. The spirits have completely taken over him, and just as he’s about to completely end himself, Jade rushes in and places her hand on the table he’s bashing his head on. She saves him from dying, but Riley is in critical condition. Mia walks away because it’s too much for her to handle, and suddenly she’s seeing her mother everywhere. When she’s cleared her head, she goes to the hospital, but Jade and her mom don’t let her anywhere near Riley. The boy’s face is completely disfigured. Daniel decides to drop by Mia home, and she offers a place for him to stay. So he doesn’t love the idea, and since he is with Jade, it would not be the right thing to do, Daniel refuses at first, but Mia asks him to stay because she doesn’t want to be alone. Mia just wants to be comforted by Daniel’s presence, but soon she gets a nightmare that turns into reality, where she sees a spirit trying to suck on Daniel’s foot. Mia screams at Daniel to wake up, but to his astonishment, it’s Mia who’s trying to chomp down on his toes.
Now Mia knows they’ve possibly left the door open, so she needs to continue using the hand to make sure the spirits leave Riley alone. On the other hand, when they meet the guy whose brother owned the hand before it was passed onto Hayley’s friend Joss, he tells them to stop using the hand, and the spirits will automatically leave them alone. The more you use, the more chance there is for disaster (sound familiar?). Mia is so consumed by the idea of her mother being around and speaking to her that she believes everything she says. Mia tries to summon the spirits for Riley, but a little girl shows her instead where Riley is. All the dirty spirits have taken over his soul and are hurting him in the spirit world.
What Happens To Mia In The End?
The malicious spirit manipulating Mia is definitely not her mother because she encourages her to kill Riley. The spirits just want to latch onto his ghost and keep him in limbo forever. When Mia returns home, her dad tells her that her mother actually committed suicide and left a note. Mia doesn’t believe him because the spirit has been telling her it was an accident. Mia’s mother tells her that her dad is actually not real, and the other spirits are trying to tell her lies about her mother. They break into her room and start to choke her as Mia’s dad. Mia tries to grab a pair of scissors, but before she stabs him, her actual dad breaks open the door to try and save her. She stabs her dad and leaves him there to die, rushing to the hospital to give Riley his “relief.” Mia tells Jade to come over because she knows how to save Riley, but it’s just a way to keep her away from the hospital.
At the hospital, Sue, Riley’s mother, admits that she shouldn’t have pushed Mia away because she couldn’t admit that her son was having a breakdown. She blamed Mia for giving him drugs, but there were never drugs involved (no, ma’am, this is a different kind of addiction). She gives Mia some alone time with Riley because Mia is like family to them, and Riley would like for her to be there. But Mia is not talking to Riley’s spirit; it’s an old woman’s spirit who tells Mia that Riley can never come back from the spirit world. She tells Mia to feel, and the kangaroo appears to her, guiding her (so she has to put him out of his misery!). Mia follows the kangaroo, and then we see Jade’s point of view. She’s come back to the hospital after seeing Mia’s dad stabbed in the house. She sees Mia walking out onto the highway with Riley in a wheelchair. Mia stops right in front of the door, and Mia’s mother whispers in her ear to push him out and set him free. When Jade is about to reach her, we’re suddenly inside a car on the road, and something hits the windshield.
If you’re thinking it’s Riley. Then you’re wrong. It’s actually Mia; this could mean two things: either Mia sacrificed herself instead of Riley because what his mom said about them being family really hit her hard. Or, it’s the spirit pretending to be her mother that pushes her out because she knows Mia is not going to put Riley in any more harm. We then see Mia walking throughthe hospital, and as she walks by the rooms, Riley is doing much better than before. Everything looks good between Jade, him, and their mother. Mia sees them walk away, and as much as she tries to call to them, they don’t seem to hear it. Mia then sees her father in the hospital too, and as she runs towards him and screams for him not to leave her alone there, all the lights go off.
During the Talk To Me‘s ending, Mia hears the sound of someone lighting a matchstick, and she walks towards the light. When she reaches there, she sees a hand and grabs it, somehow realizing the impending doom only at that moment. Mia has died and becomes one of those dead spirits in this purgatory forever. The hand on the other side is in a different country, and it seems like a lot of time has passed, so the medium has moved countries. The movie ends with the man speaking a different language and then saying to Mia, “I let you in.” Mia opened up to doom because she was sad, and there was nobody in the world who could help her feel that human connection she was craving. Instead, she resorted to believing in spirits and ended up dead.