They Talk, directed by Giorgio Bruno, is a supernatural horror film following a sound engineer, Alex (Jonathan Tufvesson), who records voices from the dead while shooting a documentary. As Alex struggles to figure out what the voices want or are warning him about, danger escalates. The film checks some horror boxes thanks to tension and decent scares. But sadly, the movie lacks a cohesive story. There is far too much confusion and mid-road acting. At the end of They Talk, I seesawed between “this part is scary” and “what happened.”
Strange events unfold from the get-go. Alex hears painful feedback in his headphones, and later that night, he hears multiple voices. Rounding out the film crew who do not believe Alex are Steve (Aciel Martinez Pol) and Emily (Sydney White). Laura (Margaux Billard) is the “star” in front of the camera, telling the tale of the forgotten nun. Emily and Laura spend most of the film criticizing Alex or trying to him in bed. As all of this is happening, Alex runs into a childhood friend, strange Amanda (Rocío Muñoz).
Convoluted Story With Dull Dialogue
Some of the story makes sense, but too much happens in the movie. Alex’s past, his friend, the voices, the orphanage, the nun’s story, all muddle the impact. You spend so much time figuring out what is going on and not enough on what is happening. Scene after scene lost my interest as I tried to understand what previously happened.
The dialogue is weak and strained in its attempt to seem effortless. The actors respond with the necessary expressions but lack the connection to those brimming emotions to feel genuine. The whole “can we make a secret” did not work either; partly because it sounds ridiculous, but more so because it does not play a pivotal role in the story. I still do not know the point, which makes it flat.
Directing and Music Give A Few Good Scenes
Horror-wise, They Talk builds the tension in the film thanks to the directing. The music also elevates the few chilling scenes, giving them a terrifying and haunting quality. However, one particular part of the music reminded me of The Social Network, which has no aspect of supernatural horror and pulled me out of the film each time I heard it. But most of the score sears eerie scenes into memory. There are just not enough of those scenes.
I watched the film a couple of times, once at bedtime, and I woke up toward the end of the film, frightened and looking around my darkened room. I watch plenty of horror movies before bed that does not pull that off. But that fear is not thanks to the film as a whole, but a few well-crafted scenes in the final leg of They Talk. This is not enough to make the film decent, but the frights are there at the end.
A Meh Film With Moments of Wow
Giorgio Bruno does an admirable job building a horror film. The direction is solid, and if there were a cohesive, lean script with better dialogue and some casting changes, They Talk would be miles better. The directing and music do most of the work, but it’s not enough to make this film good unless music and directing matter most to you in a movie.
They Talk teeters between passable and bad, but I would watch it again for the film score and end scenes. But if I could get the music, I would not bother watching this again. If you are a fan of films that give nightmares or scare you awake, They Talk is a possibility; just keep your expectations at ground level and do not get hung up on the details.