Film Review: TERROR TALK

Film Review: TERROR TALK

The Jalbert Brothers’ newest film TERROR TALK is a psychological horror / supernatural mashup that features a lone doomsday prepper hunkering down in a house with a heinous haunted history.

Or a bit more subtle…

Ghosts, government conspiracy, and a virus make up the supernatural mindfuck that is Jalbert Brothers’ TERROR TALK.

Jalbert Brothers Present Terror Talk

Terror Talk movie poster

I first covered Terror Talk when it hit Amazon Prime back in August. You can read TERROR TALK Now on Amazon Prime if you’d like but I’ll probably cover a lot of the same particulars here.

The particulars…

Terror Talk was written by Bruce W. Durbin (Hack House 2017, Dead Story 2017) and directed by Brian & Jake Jalbert who also produced the film. It was also self-distributed via Jalbert Brothers Studio.

Sidestepping for a moment – I highly recommend connecting with the Jalbert Brothers on YouTube and Facebook if you’re interested in making films and getting them out there.

OK, gameface back on…

Kenny, played by Sean Michael Gloria (Halloween at Aunt Ethel’s 2018, Werewolves in Heat 2015), is our antagonist. With the exceptions of off-screen voices, brief appearances of hallucinations/ghosts, and one scene with some cops, Sean is the only actor in the film. That can’t be an easy task to pull off in any film environment.

Voices from the TV and two-way radio include The President (David Velez), Headhunter (Bob Glazier), Social Sarah (Karleigh Chase), and Papa Bear (Daniel Wachs). Velez is also credited with music and art direction as per IMDb.

Our ghosts are Kyra (Lisa Walton), Magan (Lexi Balestrieri), Girl #1 (Julieanna Jalbert), and Girl #2 (Lillieanna Jalbert).

The cop scene features Cop 1 (Aaron Quick Nelson), Cop 2 (Anthony Michael Marks), Detective 1 (Randall Speakman). Detective 2 (Gary B. Gross), and Crime Scene Tech (Diane Jalbert). Speakman is also co-producer while Gross is listed as ‘technical advisor: Police’ and Diane Jalbert is credited as the makeup artist.

Check out the trailer and summary below and then I’ll give you my thoughts:

When a virus outbreak causes widespread panic, a doomsday prepper retreats into his new house, believing that he’s safe from the dangers outside, but soon discovers that his house is haunted by terrifying ghosts.

Ghosts, government conspiracy, and a virus make up the supernatural mindfuck that is @jalbertbrothers TERROR TALK. Click To Tweet

My take on the film…

We start off with an old dude on oxygen sitting in a chair. He’s holding a pistol in one hand and a shotgun in his lap with the barrel rested under his chin. The lights are flickering and he’s waving the pistol around all crazy + has a finger on the shotgun trigger. This can’t end well.

Then we cut in to meet our antagonist, Kenny, who is settling into his new home during a virus outbreak (or government conspiracy?) and discovers a two-way radio. On top of the radio is a list of names and frequencies as well as the home base name: Grey Man. Was that the old dude? Hmmm?

Kenny, now impersonating Grey Man, begins interacting with other radio users and learns that women & children had been murdered in his new house. Something to do with a serial killer and in a separate incident, a priest. He also learns that all previous owners had committed suicide. Yikes!

Our new homeowner is now hearing things, seeing things, feeling things – in general, freaking out. As he stumbles through the house investigating the strange happenings he finds some DVDs. Will they help him uncover the mystery of the house? More importantly, will they help him stay alive?

So yeah we’re looking at a film that was shot at a single location. That in itself is often hard to pull off with a full cast of intriguing characters. As mentioned earlier Terror Talk is pretty much one primary character (Kenny) interacting with voices on a two-way radio. Now add that the film was made for a mere $2000 and your first thought might be – run! Unless of course, you’re a “masochistic, give me no-budget horror or die” kind of film fan.

That said, Terror Talk doesn’t look like a $2000 film, IMHO. Let’s just say that I’ve seen $10,000 and maybe even $100,000 films that weren’t this polished. One thing that stood out for me was lighting. The film takes place in a dark house with a single light source visible most of the time such as a lamp or a snowy TV or flashlight. It’s never too dark to make out what’s happening during any given scene. Kudos to the filmmakers on that one.

The sound played a big part as well, serving to enhance the drama, the intensity, the paranoia, the fear, and ultimately, the insanity. A couple of times I felt the sound overpowered the dialogue but it was negligible. I also like how certain sounds like a heavy knock or tea kettle whistle, while surprising, weren’t used as jump scares. A supernatural film without a jump scare is rare so again, kudos.

Sean Michael Gloria’s acting held up well, for the most part, as the lone actor. Not a perfect performance but I’m not judging. As I mentioned, it can’t be easy to pull off. His facial expressions appeared genuine – the terror, the hopelessness, etc. I did have issues with some of the two-way radio dialogue from the faceless actors. There were awkward pauses and a couple conversations out of nowhere when users had been signed off. Minor stuff but it did get on my nerves for a second lol – I did like Headhunter’s attitude regarding ghosts – let them know who’s in charge. Walk right up to that shadow and say “Get me a beer!” hahaha

Regarding the two-way radio users – it seemed they may have been in a different time period or another dimension, maybe? Headhunter mentioned the Japanese insinuating a conflict and Social Sarah from London mentioned the war with Germany. Also, the voices were supportive at first, appearing to know quite a bit about Kenny (or Grey Man?). As the story progresses the voices are less supportive and more antagonizing, I think.

Barring my aforementioned issues I enjoyed the characterization of the faceless voices. It was almost as if they were the personification of Kenny’s dilemma. Headhunter represented the fight for survival. Social Sally represented a belief in ghosts. And Papa Bear was the representation of guilt – confessing your sins or face Hell and damnation. I may be way off but that’s how I saw it.

Oh, and kudos to the little girl ghosts with the creepy laughs. That’s the kind of stuff I like thrown in for good measure. But that may have something to do with the little ghost girl in my closet who wants to play hide & seek all night 😉

Note that there’s absolutely no gore and no action so if you’re into fast-paced horror this probably isn’t for you. This film is more of a slow burn psychological-supernatural-thriller-mystery. So if you like that kind of stuff you’ll definitely dig it. All in all, I found TERROR TALK to be a wicked cool watch.

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