TWIN brothers Danny and Michael Philippou know a thing or two about the dangers of taking thrill seeking too far.

Best known for their zany YouTube antics on comic horror channel RackaRacka, the pair fell fowl of Australian law enforcement in 2019 when a stunt shoot crossed the line of legality. Apparently driving a car almost completely full of water on public roads is frowned upon down under.

Perhaps this experience informed the brothers’ debut feature film, Talk to Me, which releases this week in the pink ashes of Barbenheimer. It’s a cautionary horror with all too believable metaphorical potency. When a craze goes too far, people get hurt.

Sophie Wilde, most recently seen in ITV’s Tom Jones, plays Mia. She’s just a regular teen, still coming to terms with the tragic loss of her mother a year prior. Joe Bird is Riley, Mia’s friend and son of the somewhat distracted Sue, who is played by Lord of the Rings alum Miranda Otto.

In the suburbs of Southern Australia, the latest fad is not Logan Paul and KSI energy drink PRIME but a thrilling parlour game with sinister ramifications. It’s a conceit distantly related to that of the Japanese horror classic Ringu that sees an embalmed hand capable of commune with the dead past from party to party.

While dabbles with the undead might not have quite the same good time appeal of pass the parcel and musical chairs, the buzz is addictive. It’s only a matter of time before the effects of over-exposure to the afterlife make themselves painfully known.

Talk to Me set the Sundance Film Festival alight back in January, sparking a fierce bidding war between Universal and indie giant A24. The latter won out but we’re all winners when such thrilling creativity hits the mainstream.

This is typical simplicity done well material. Foregoing a reliance on jump scares, the Philippou brothers permit a pervasion of evil to claw at the outskirts of their film, building to a climax that is both memorable and deeply unsettling. Brutal, even.

Talk to Me is a film that speaks to a baying audience and will appeal most to a willing TikTok generation. Once you have let it in, once the possession has taken hold, you’ll be hard pressed to shake it from the troubled imagination it imparts.