“Talk to Me”: 5 Things I Loved/Learned

Adrian Todd Zuniga
4 min readAug 17


I’m a total scaredy cat when it comes to horror films, but the hype around TALK TO ME (and the fact that it’s an Aussie film) lured me into the theatre. In short: the hype is justified, the Philippou brothers have created a deeply scary film, and I learned as much as I loved, which is a lot.

LOVED: The Opening 11 Seconds.

The film starts over black, as we hear a scary-as-fuck whirring that leads into a banger (“Ducks In A Row” by Lucianblomkamp & IJALE). That whirring unsettled me, and finding the link above brought me back to that moment, and made me feel like my chest might collapse. That’s a brilliant use of sound, and brought me back to the nightmare of the cold open.

The use of camera phones and social media in TALK TO ME was A++++

LEARNED: Deliver More Than Feels in a Cold Open

A screenwriter once told me, “Netflix demands that something incredible happen in the first five minutes.” TALK TO ME is like, Let’s make the audience crap their ever-loving pants in THREE. This movie kicks off with a sober man arriving at a bass-thumping house party, in frantic search of his brother. He has navigate a bunch blasé drunk/high party-goers, and what results is BONKERS (endless kudos to cinematographer Aaron McLisky for shooting this so slyly to maximize impact). But as perfect as this cold open is feels-wise, it does the vastly more important work of giving us the film’s backstory lightning-quick, and creating white-knuckle tension at nearly every quiet moment the rest of the way through.

How freaking PERFECT was Zoe Terakes as Hayley?

LOVED: The Kangaroo.

Early in the film, Mia encounters a wounded kangaroo in deep need of being euthanized. She backs up her car to run over it…but can’t bring herself to do it. At first, I couldn’t figure out why this was in there and then it hit me (because my partner told me): Mia wasn’t a killer, and couldn’t intentionally hurt people. Which sets up the events of the grand finale. (Also, seeing the kangaroo in the…



Adrian Todd Zuniga

is an award-nominated author (Collision Theory), award-winning director/screenwriter (HOLD ME, DON'T TOUCH ME) and the creator and host of Literary Death Match.