While “Talk To Me” comes with graphic imagery and the occasional comical moment, the characters have hastened development which doesn’t really push you to care about who lives or dies, but rather how.


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General Information

Director(s) Danny Philippou, Michael Philippou
Screenplay By Bill Hinzman, Danny Philippou
Based On Concept By Daley Pearson
Date Released (In Theaters) July 28, 2023
Genre(s) Fantasy, Horror, Thriller, Young Adult
Film Length 1 Hour 34 Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Characters and Cast
Mia Sophie Wilde
Jade Alexandra Jensen
Riley Joe Bird
Daniel Otis Dhanji
Rhea Alexandria Steffensen
Hayley Zoe Terakes
Joss Chris Alosio
Max Marcus Johnson
Sue Miranda Otto

What Is “Talk To Me” Rated And Why?

“Talk To Me” is Rated R because:

  • Dialog: Moderate cursing throughout and suggestive dialog
  • Violence: Blood, decayed, scarred, and mutilated bodies, and murder
  • Sexual Content: Outside of some foot-sucking, there isn’t any
  • Miscellaneous: drinking, smoking

Film Summary

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

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It has been two years since Mia’s mom died, and rather than grow closer to her dad, she has latched onto her mother’s friend’s family, especially Jade and Riley. But, as Jade starts to date Daniel, she can feel her slowly but surely become detached, which makes Hayley and Joss offering to shake the hand of a dead medium and have the opportunity to see and speak to the dead intriguing for Mia. Not at first, second, or even the 5th time, but when Riley does it, and Mia is so sure Rhea, her mom, is speaking through him, in potentially a literal sense, all hell breaks loose.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Mia

Mia (Sophie Wilde)
“Mia (Sophie Wilde),” Talk To Me, directed by Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou, 2023, (A24)

After her mom’s death two years ago, Mia became distant from her dad and attached herself to her mom’s friend, Sue, and her family more than ever. Jade became like a sister, Riley a little brother, and in some ways, you can see Mia’s attachment to Jade being a tad unhealthy and maybe stifling Jade’s growth.

Jade

Jade (Alexandra Jensen)
“Jade (Alexandra Jensen),” Talk To Me, directed by Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou, 2023, (A24)

With a boyfriend of three months and a healthy social life, Jade is doing well. Yes, Mia worries her, even is a bit of a tag-along that some may not like, but overall, Jade is doing good.

Riley

Riley (Joe Bird)
“Riley (Joe Bird),” Talk To Me, directed by Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou, 2023, (A24)

Riley, who is less than 15, is a sweet kid. He doesn’t smoke, drink, or do drugs, despite his mom expecting the worse of her kids. But, he is kind of lonely and, like Mia, does hang around Jade like a Remora, trying to get to experience whatever she does.

Daniel

Daniel (Otis Dhanji)
“Daniel (Otis Dhanji),” Talk To Me, directed by Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou, 2023, (A24)

18-year-old Daniel was someone Mia briefly dated when they were in elementary or middle school, but now he is in a relationship with Jade. Someone who, even after months of being together, he hasn’t made a move on, which might be due to his faith – or at least that is the public-facing reason.

Rhea

Rhea is Mia’s mom, who, similar to Sue, was a mom who wasn’t against cursing around her child and being silly. However, despite being silly, there was a darkness in Rhea, which makes her accidental overdose something which some think may have been on purpose.

Hayley

Hayley (Zoe Terakes)
“Hayley (Zoe Terakes),” Talk To Me, directed by Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou, 2023, (A24)

Hayley is new to the area, and with her has come Joss, and this hand that allows people to see things. They are perhaps the only one who is vocal about not liking Mia and thinking Jade needs to separate herself or create better boundaries with Mia.

Joss

Joss is Hayley’s closest friend, who is the one who got the hand everyone is seeing on social media. However, what isn’t said is how aware he is of the potential side effects.

Max

Max is Mia’s dad, Rhea’s husband.

Sue

Sue is Jade and Riley’s mother, a surrogate mom to Mia, who curses at her kids and sometimes assumes the worst about them but loves them. She isn’t abusive or anything; it is just she knows what her kids are capable of, has an idea of what their friends are doing, and talks to the neighbors.

Review

Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Highlights

The Violence & Imagery

Within the first five minutes, we see someone break down a door and discover someone with cuts on their body, and that person stabs the one who tried to rescue them and stab themselves in the face. That is pretty much the level of violence you should expect, but the imagery you get is escalated as time goes on. Some of it is comical, like Daniel playing the game and making out with a dog. However, keep your eye on Riley. What he goes through is the main thing that makes “Talk To Me” rated R.

On The Fence

While Characters Are Likable, Their Development Is A Bit Shoddy

When it comes to any character you can name, they’re pleasant. Jade and Mia seem like good friends, even with Mia playing up her puppy love moment with Jade’s now boyfriend, while playing down there potentially being residual feelings. Also, Riley seems like a sweet little brother, and while Joss and Hayley aren’t given much in the way of development, they are interesting enough to think they are cool.

But, there lies the problem, no one is given much in the way of development or, if they are, in Mia’s case, it is for some cheap, quick, and easy sympathy. Case in point, her mourning her mother is something meant to get you invested and forgive some of her awkwardness, but it feels so forced. Which complicates things when you see Mia repeatedly seek out what she believes is her mom’s spirit to talk to her about her suicide.

Hayley (Zoe Terakes), Jade (Alexandra Jensen), Joss (Chris Alosio) and Daniel (Otis Dhanji)
“Hayley (Zoe Terakes), Jade (Alexandra Jensen), Joss (Chris Alosio) and Daniel (Otis Dhanji),” Talk To Me, directed by Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou, 2023, (A24)

Shifting to the less dramatic storylines and character backgrounds, you can easily see, minus the supernatural bits, “Talk To Me” could easily be a teen drama. Hayley seems to be a new kid, Joss, maybe as well. Jade is in love with Daniel, maybe in lust as well, but isn’t sure why, after three months, he hasn’t kissed her or made a move. Add in Mia icing out her dad, Max, because of her thinking he might be more involved with her mom’s suicide more than he is telling, and Sue being a no-nonsense mom since she doesn’t have the time or energy to gentle parent, a lot is going on and could have been developed.

Yet, what I told you is pretty much the beginning and ending of most of the characters for “Talk To Me” is moment driven. Not story-driven or character-driven, but like an action film, it is about building up to the next scare or graphic moment, and to fill in the time between each moment, the film faces the obligation that it has to do something with these characters to make their potential death, or presence, notable.

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Smile: Like “Talk To Me,” there is a supernatural element while addressing its lead character’s trauma.

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.

Title Card - Talk To Me (2023)
Talk To Me (2023) – Movie Review and Summary (with Spoilers)
Overall
“Talk To Me” potentially proves it isn’t just the American horror industry that forgets that, to make something scary, you either have to make what happens feel real or make you feel invested in those who could live or die.
The Violence & Imagery
83
While Characters Are Likable, Their Development Is A Bit Shoddy
73
Highlights
The Violence & Imagery
Disputable
While Characters Are Likable, Their Development Is A Bit Shoddy
78

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