The story involves a group of high school teens, who have got hold of the ceramic encased and embalmed hand taken from the body of a dead psychic. If you hold hands with this little number and say the magic words “talk to me, you open up a whole can of uncontrollable worms leading to very bad things.
At the centre of the action is Mia (Sophie Wilde), a disturbed girl still mourning the death of her mother. Mia now spends most of her spare time with her best friend Jade (Alexandra Jensen and Jade’s younger brother Riley (Joe Bird), along with their down to earth mother (Miranda Otto), who Mia sees as a sort of surrogate mum. Another member of the group is Daniel (Otis Dhanji), who was once Mia’s boyfriend but is now Jade’s squeeze.
The film takes a bit of time to establish its characters, but once Mia hears about the spooky parties and persuades her friends to join her, the action gets – well, spooky. At first it’s all a bit of a lark. There’s a 90 second limit on each chat with the dead, otherwise the spirit could get out of control and that’s just what happens when Riley appears to channel Mia’s dead mum. Mia exceeds the time limit and Riley goes totally out of control, beating himself up nearly to death in a truly horrific sequence.
The teen group overall are themselves a bit disturbing. Rather than being wary at what they’ve conjured up, they treat it as a joke, a high, a bit like a drug and a source of hysterical laughter as they record it all on their mobile phones.
Wilde at the centre of it all is very good, as she’s called on to do more and more gruesome things at the behest of the spirit world, most of whom, when visible to us, seem to be toothless old people or distorted rotten corpses – that last one’s her mum. You never get a nice person come through in these films. Death obviously makes people really vengeful!