Talk to Me 2023: True Events or Creative Imagination?

The supernatural horror film ‘Talk to Me,’ directed by Danny and Michael Philippou, is about a group of pals who discover a way to communicate with the afterlife and summon ghosts using an embalmed hand. They start doing it for enjoyment as they develop an addiction to the adrenaline high it produces. However, things start to get worse when one of the group’s pals maintains a sustained connection with the spirit through the hand for an extended period of time.

The friends’ negligence lets some scary supernatural forces loose into the actual world and endangers their all-together lives by opening the entrance to the spirit world. The horror-thriller movie, starring Sophie Wilde, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji, Zoe Terakes, and Miranda Otto, features a number of themes and elements that look realistic, such as séances, the authenticity of which certainly varies from person to person. So, if you think that séances actually do operate in real life, you might be wondering whether or not “Talk to Me” is based on reality. In that case, shall we examine the same in greater detail?

Is Talk to Me a True Story?

‘Talk to Me’ is not based on a factual story, no. However, Daley Pearson’s original idea served as the inspiration for Danny Philippou and Bill Hinzman’s tense and eerily intriguing screenplay. The two screenwriters then utilised their exceptional writing prowess and inventive ideas to craft the captivating yet grounded plot of the Sophie Wilde starring.

Danny Philippou explained that it all began when he was engaged in an accident when he was 16 years old. The idea of a haunting hand is quite a unique concept on its own and the centre of the film. Despite the physicians’ best attempts to keep him warm and cosy with additional blankets and by keeping the heaters on, he was unable to stop shaking while hospitalised. In a July 2023 interview with Roger Ebert, he went into further insight about it as he continued, “And then, my sister sat next to me. When she held my hand, the trembling abruptly stopped. I was in a state of shock until I felt the touch of someone I love.

Danny continued, “How hands relate to human connection was always such a strong idea in my mind.” Danny described where he got his inspiration from. Hands were such a prominent element throughout the entire first draught of the script, a recurring thematic concept expressing links between individuals, before we even discovered the (concept of the embalmed) hand. It was perfect for the movie. And it appeared as though it had always been there until we included that (embalmed hand) in the second draught. So much sense was made.

In addition to this tragedy, other inspirations also propelled the filmmakers to realise their vision. They were reportedly influenced by a number of films, including “The Exorcist,” “Let the Right One In,” “Memories of Murder,” “The Vanishing,” and “Return,” according to reports. The Philippous were questioned by Slash Film in July 2023 about the aspects of “Memories of Murder” that they took inspiration from. Danny, who acknowledges that the film had a big influence on them, comments, “The way that Bong Joon-ho is able to blend tone. In a couple of minutes, he can switch from horror to drama to comedy, and each feels like a seamless whole. He is a genius at smoothly fusing different genres.

It’s interesting to note that the filmmaker brothers even drew influence from Jennifer Kent’s “The Babadook,” though not for its concepts or storyline. Instead, they were affected by the sensations they felt on the set of that film and tried to recreate them on the set of “Talk to Me.” In light of everything discussed above, it is reasonable to conclude that although the supernatural horror film may have been influenced by some true events, the plot and the characters are pure fiction.

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