Stars: Jonathan Tufvesson, Rocío Muñoz, Sydney White, Margaux Billard, Hal Yamanouchi, Aaron Stielstra | Written by Vinicio Canton, Stefano Ceccarelli, Chiara Barbo | Directed by Giorgio Bruno
They Talk is an Italian-made horror that riffs on the likes of Brian De Palma’s Blow Out, and sees Alex (Jonathan Tufvesson), a sound engineer, who accidentally records mysterious voices: disturbing messages from the afterlife who warn him against imminent and terrifying danger. Seeking answers he tracks down Professor Hasegawa, an expert on paranormal phenomena.
Little does he know that his old friend Amanda (Rocío Muñoz), with whom he shares a terrible secret, re-emerges from his past also looking for help. The appearance of the young woman triggers chilling paranormal phenomena that leave behind a trail of corpses. Is she the danger the voices of the dead speak about?
They Talk is the second film in recent months to feature strange paranormal activity caught on a recording device. And much like Broadcast Signal Intrusion, They Talk takes a rather mundane approach to proceedings. Don’t get me wrong, this film looks great, it’s well-shot, with some rather atmospheric cinematography; and the audio is filled with creepy voices, eerie music and a haunting rendition of the old ‘Ring of Roses’ nursery rhyme. It’s just that the rest of the film – the dialogue and the story itself – is remarkably dull.
There are flourishes of greatness, from the grotesque way in which some of the film’s characters are killed, to the suitably creepy flashbacks to three children in an orphanage run by terrifying (literally) nuns but none of that can compensate for the rest of the film. It also doesn’t help that the film takes the slowest of slow-burn approaches to the action, with Alex talking more about the voices he hears rather than doing anything about it.
I would have hoped that an Italian take on films like Blow Out and Broadcast Signal Intrusion would have offered something intriguing, after all the Italians know how to make spooky, weird supernatural horror (like Fulci’s City of the Living Dead and The Beyond) but it seems director Giorgio Bruno was looking more to the US market for inspiration rather than Europe. Which is a total shame as throwing in some more insane Italian influences could have raised They Talk above the average.
They Talk is out now from Uncork’d Entertainment.