Cease me if you happen to’ve heard this one earlier than: a bunch of highschool children will get their palms on a cursed occult object, and after some enjoyable and video games, they find yourself being terrorized by a presence from the opposite facet. It’s not probably the most unique premise. However in Discuss To Me — the directorial debut from brothers Danny and Michael Philippou, finest identified for their YouTube channel — it takes on a brand new urgency and ferocity with a narrative that races to its bloody, brutal conclusion with out letting up.
The occult object in query is an embalmed hand that supposedly has the ability to let individuals see, and be possessed by, the spirits of useless people. The method is simple: you seize the hand, say “discuss to me” to summon a random specter, after which say “I allow you to in” to ask them to inhabit your physique. It’s creepy stuff, and straightforward to repeat, making it the perfect factor for viral video fame. Instantly, highschool children in Australia are watching movies of what look like possessions, generally ending in a splash of blood. After all, it’s only a hoax, proper?
Mia (Sophie Wilde) first experiences the consequences of the ritual at a celebration, and he or she immediately turns into hooked. Possession, it appears, is as addictive as a drug — particularly for teenagers going by a troublesome time, the place being out of physique for a bit is a welcome change. That is Mia, who’s grieving the lack of her mom, and who clings desperately to her buddies Jade (Alexandra Jensen) and Riley (Joe Chook) to stave off the loneliness. Not lengthy after her first expertise, she tries it once more and — regardless of objections — lets Riley take part, too.
One vital a part of the ritual is timing. Let the spirit keep in for too lengthy, and it received’t need to go away. Her incapacity to cease going again for extra possessions, mixed with this very strict rule, finally ends up leaving Mia haunted by terrifying visions, whereas she’s additionally making an attempt to save lots of her good friend from a dwelling nightmare.
What follows is a reasonably customary ghost story, however one which’s elevated by urgency and brutality. Severely, when dangerous issues occur on this film, they’re actually dangerous — “I needed to look away from the display screen” dangerous. Possessed children brutalizing themselves, horrifying visions of the afterlife, and deaths that, even while you see them coming, are so violent you possibly can’t assist however wince. That’s maybe to be anticipated from a movie helmed by the proprietors of a YouTube channel filled with goofy and gory movies. However the Philippou brothers present a exceptional quantity of restraint in Discuss To Me. There’s extra to the violence than pure shock worth; it punctuates the story, which — as soon as it will get going — strikes at an unrelenting tempo. The twists and turns aren’t essentially all that shocking, looking back, however they arrive at you so shortly that it feels such as you barely have a minute to catch your breath.
If nothing else, Discuss To Me is an incredibly competent debut — and under no circumstances what I anticipated from a horror film made by YouTube stars. It might be a film about viral movies — however the movie itself is rather more than an prolonged YouTube skit.