Michael and Danny Philippou's Talk to Me premiered all the way back in January, at this year's Sundance Film Festival. It's there that the buzz started to grow, riding a wave of strong reviews straight down to Austin, TX in March for a SXSW screening that also played like gangbusters. Sensing that they had a hit on their hands, distributor A24 really pulled out the stops over the next few months, slipping Talk to Me into a handful of film festival appearances and one-off screenings, all of them designed to keep the hype going until the film's arrival in theaters this past weekend.
As it turns out, this was a wise strategy: despite entering a crowded theatrical marketplace that includes ongoing blockbusters Barbie and Oppenheimer, the Philippou Brothers' Talk to Me brought in an impressive $10M from theatergoers and horror fans this weekend, doubling pre-release projections that had the film clearing $5M. Not too shabby for a pair of first-time feature directors and a cast of relative unknowns!
Starring Sophie Wilde (who walks away with the whole damn movie), Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Djanji, and Zoe Terakes, Talk to Me revolves around a group of Australian teens who come into possession of a disembodied, ceramic-covered hand. By grasping the hand and saying, "Talk to me," the teens find that they are able to commune with the dead, and so they do what any modern teenagers would do in that situation: they treat it like a party trick, taking turns with the hand and encountering all manner of spirits along the way. You will probably not be surprised to learn that communing with the dead does not turn out well for anyone involved.
Talk to Me is one of the most astonishingly confident debut features we've seen in recent years, and the entire FANGORIA team is psyched to see it doing well at the box office (I mean, we're always psyched to see horror movies doing well at the box office, but this is a particularly great one). It announces Michael and Danny Philippou as filmmakers worth paying attention to, Sophie Wilde as a full-blown star, and could very well launch its own franchise if the Movie Gods demand it ... though if things go that route, we might be waiting a while for the sequel: the brothers recently signed on to helm an adaptation of the Street Fighter video game franchise for Legendary Pictures.
Nothing further to report on the Philippou brothers or Talk to Me at this time, but stay tuned for more on both as further updates become available. We can't wait to have this one neatly filed away on our Blu-ray shelves.