Goth Chick News: A24 Films Is Scaring the Snot Out of Me Again
Long ago A24 Films become my personal favorite independent film production company. Founded in 2012, they didn’t hit my radar until I discovered their 2015 horror hit The Witch, followed by Hereditary in 2018, then Midsommer in 2019. What I would call A24’s next-gen type scares ruled the company’s top box office earners until 2022 when Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Whale became this year’s Oscars darlings.
Just in case you’re wondering how A24 can crank out box office biggies like EEAaO, here’s the downlow. It’s less about the money than it is about the general principals guiding the company. A lot of what makes a production an “indie” movie is the director’s complete control over the creation and art of the final piece. Independent movie companies like A24 tend to work more on the funding, budget, and distribution of the movie, leaving the directors to be “independent” of studio content control.
Admittedly I haven’t seen their non-horror offerings, so I prefer to think of A24 as my go-to when I really want to be creeped out. It takes quite a lot to show me something unique in the horror genre, but A24 films always serve up surprises.
Talk to Me is the filmmaking debut for brothers Danny and Michael Philippou, popular YouTubers under the name RakkaRakka who until now have produced live-action shorts, many of which fall in the horror genre. As their first full-length feature film, Talk to Me premiered earlier this year at Sundance followed by a special premiere at SXSW, attracting the attention of A24 who picked it up for global distribution.
According to Collider, the synopsis for Talk to Me goes like this:
Talk to Me follows Mia (Sophie Wilde), a girl who recently lost her mother, attending special parties thrown by characters Hayley (Zoe Terakes) and Joss (Chris Alosio). These parties have a central focus on a supernatural game involving an embalmed, inscribed hand that allows whoever holds it to be possessed by a random spirit. The rule is not to hold the hand for more than ninety seconds; any longer and the spirit can make its forever home in the possessed. There are a series of these parties that quickly escalate into a sinister outcome. The kids know how to open the door to unseen worlds, but they do not know to close it. Mia gets dangerously eager about the game and her ulterior motives cause her to push the limits, resulting in the horrific death of a friend. This tragedy, coupled with Mia’s resurfacing traumatic past, provides a well-oiled coalition between the supernatural events occurring externally and the introspective exploration of the toll trauma takes on the mind. Darkness within, and darkness on the outside. The plot mirrors the age-old adage, “as above, so below.”
That sounds interesting for sure, but then earlier this week we got hit with the trailer.
This looks like one of those films I’ll go see wearing a hoodie, so I can pull it all the way down over my eyes and watch through a tiny opening in the fabric. Collider also kindly warns, “Some viewers may not have the stomach to sit through Talk to Me, but for die-hard horror fans, this film is everything one could ask for.”
Just as long as nothing bad happens to the bulldog, I’m good.
Talk to Me premiers nationwide on April 28, only in theaters.
A24 definitely occupy a sweet spot in terms of producing genre films that also boast a glossy, arthouse style, and not just in Horror – e.g. The Green Knight.