–Arts and letters for the modern age–

Cathode Ray Zone

–Arts and Letters for the Modern Age–

The Leaning Tower of Arm

by | Jul 26, 2023

Any movie revolving around a prank always works better when there’s a phone involved. Consider 1965’s I Saw What You Did, where a couple of bored teenage girls prank call people with pseudo-malicious intent only to have their victims hunt them down.

Flash forward to now and a teen party game that involves a spooky double dog dare that everyone records on their cellphones.

Talk To Me is a crowd pleaser, which means it’s a great film to see with a crowd.

Perhaps not oddly, Talk To Me doesn’t operate on the same level as such modern horror classics as Hereditary or It Follows yet it displays a solid sense of its own worth.

As far as payoffs in current horror films, Talk To Me certainly provides better yucks and scares than similar 2023 releases like Scream 6 or The Boogeyman.

For the record, I only screamed once during Talk To Me when one teen started pulling his eyeball out of its socket.

The crux of the horror, a statue made like an arm from the elbow to the hand in grasp mode, becomes progressively malevolent as the story evolves. You hold the hand in a seated position like you’re  arm wrestling.

It’s a teen party game but played with the occult twist of a Ouija board. The recipient physically experiences some sort of possession and the dare is you have to hold tight for one-minute. 

You see props like the arm in a lot of movies. Even the new Disney flick, The Haunted Mansion, also opening this week, has one sitting in the background of a scene.

The hand itself feels out of kilter because the base is small and doesn’t look like it could balance the overall structure. So it’s either weighted on the bottom or attached to the table. The whole concept of daring someone to do something freaky while everyone around records it on their cellphones seems to be the fantasy kink of Talk To Me.

The Australian setting adds diversity to the concept as newbie directors Michael and Danny Philippou add heft to their story by incorporating the multicultural sense of family that exists down under.

Mirando Otto (Lord of the Rings) plays a single mom who works nights and leaves her daughter with strict instructions that there will be no alcohol, no sex, and certainly no parties. She never said anything about not allowing dead spirits to possess teens.

Talk With Me stays with the viewer long after the film ends mainly due to its amazing conclusion. Like any good horror film, a righteous use of viscous fluid like snot, tears, and dog slobber goes a long way in establishing dread.