Talk to Me | Crooked Media
Jon, Jon & Tommy's first ever book is here - Order Democracy or Else NOW! Jon, Jon & Tommy's first ever book is here - Order Democracy or Else NOW!
December 05, 2023
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer
Talk to Me

In This Episode

Halle and Alison sit down for a super chill party game to ruin Talk to Me.







[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread. Keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, hello. Welcome to Ruined. I’m Halle. 


Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is a podcast where we ruin a horror movie just for you. 


Alison Leiby: Just for all of you. Before we get into how we’re doing, because I think the baseline for everybody right now in the world, no matter when you’re listening to this and when we’re recording, this is terrible. We’ve talked about this, and I’ll take the lead on saying that like I we at Ruined really watching the horrific violence happening to Palestinian people in Gaza is so devastating. We absolutely 100% wish for. Call on our reps to give a cease fire. It is. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: This is in this is inhumane. It is. Absolutely. One of the most horrific things I’ve witnessed in the way that we watch the news now and. It’s so easy to call our reps. It’s so easy to like ask for less civilian deaths. And that has no bearing on whether we want obviously, we want the hostages back safely. We want the people of Gaza to be safe. We want the people who live in Israel to be safe. We want everybody to be not harmed. And I think I think that at least I believe and I think you can speak for yourself, Halle, that the way to do that is a cease fire. And we really, really hope and want and hope that other people participate in demanding that from the people that we’ve elected. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I completely agree. We obviously we’ve been talking about this as sort of the news is unfolding. And I think, you know, it’s like it would be disingenuous to not acknowledge like there’s like a geopolitical catastrophe happening. 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: And I think as an American, we it is our responsibility. Like we are funding it. And we know that. And our president and many of our elected officials have pledged an unlimited amount of money to a tragedy. And I think, unfortunately, that is the history of America. I talked to my dad about this, and he was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. So basically and, you know, we are Catholic in the you know, there’s a Catholic social teaching Catholics who believe in that part a lot. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: You know what I mean, like, unfortunately, their Catholics are kind of like just about, you know, no one can have an abortion. But like and I think there’s sort of we’re back there again. You know, we are watching America fund something that is horrific and we know it’s horrible. And we have to, as citizens, do everything we can. I, I think Elizabeth Warren just called for a cease fire this morning. This is we’re recording this on the 17th. So it’s like our our our it does work. Our reps, our you see more and more elected representatives doing something about it. And that’s they should be doing that. Like we have to feel like we have some kind of power, you know, and voting is good, obviously. But you know, if we voted you in, you have to be doing what we want? And, you know, I think unfortunately, I definitely I’ve said this before, I as someone who didn’t know much about what was going on. I think like a lot of us has learned a lot.


Alison Leiby: Which is most people. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. 


Alison Leiby: And don’t believe everybody who’s like actually, like this is not. A, a crisis that in America we’re very well educated about. And. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: In general we are not particularly aware of what’s happening geopolitically across the globe, outside of our country and within it. So we’re all entering this like fresh and looking at something really terrible. 


Halle Kiefer: And I do want to talk about just one thing that happened this week, because I feel like this is the kind of stuff that’s going to be happening and it’s good for us to talk about it in terms of like people who are being inundated with a lot of information and a lot of like some of it’s misinformation, a lot of horrible videos. But recently, I don’t know to the level that people are actually watching it. But like the the thing this week was like, oh, people on TikTok were like reading and sort of supporting the Bin Laden letter to America. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And the reason I wanted to talk about that is like, this is a great example of how in America we are not educated about propaganda. Right.


Alison Leiby: At all. 


Halle Kiefer: At all. And so there’s going to be a lot of that going on every which way. And people reading that letter as Americans, where we do not engage with America’s history of global imperialism, when they read the Osama bin Laden saying things that art true and then connecting them to a horrific anti Semitic, anti queer message, there are people who are going to be reading that and saying like, well, I’m just finding out about all this. And and some of the things he’s saying are literally true. And because in America we do not acknowledge our role in. So, I mean, the CIA has supported coups like and this is not me talking like this is like just, you know, if you go to any source like we are and when because we do not deal with our history in the world, we then open up all of these rifts for propagandists which Osama bin Laden is, and a mass murderer like to for someone who does not have that education because we prevent them. I mean, like, again, like Florida, Georgia, Ron DeSantis, I don’t even know like what the plan is for those kids to, like, go to college. Like. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: When we take history. Then we are then when somebody read something like that, it’s like, Well, but some of it’s true, right? And that’s that’s what propaganda is. It’s like using true things to convince people of horrific things that—


Alison Leiby: Of things that are not true and should not be true. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And I think I don’t know whether it is because I think we sort of keep our lens to America. It’s easy to be like, Oh, well, they’re stupid. And it’s like it’s actually more complicated. It’s propaganda. This is what it always does. And we’re Americans. We’re inundated with pro-American propaganda, like. 


Alison Leiby: All the time. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. So it’s like we are all going to be seeing stuff and we all have to keep in mind that, like I do think baseline throughout all of history and includes, again, Vietnam. I mean, I protested the Iraq war. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: Like we have to be the check on what our government does. People have to be a check on their own governments. And it is unfortunate how frequently our government doesn’t listen to us anyways. I just want to say that because I, I feel like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Seeing people say like, well, they’re stupid. It’s like, No, no, it’s actually much more complicated than that. We have to be honest about how people can be convinced of things that are horrible. So I think this is my perspective. It’s like we have to always be against civilian death. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like there’s no civilian death that is like, well, but those people had to die. We have to be that—


Alison Leiby: Not one, not one. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, not one, like governments clearly don’t believe that. So we as people have to believe it and have to do what we can to make that true as civilians. Like that’s, you know, like to me that is what it comes down to, is like these are just regular people who are being affected by this. Anyways, we just want to say that, you know, you’re watching the news, you know, and I think like, you know what when something is wrong, like I do feel like unless unless people are manipulated away from the truth, which they are, unfortunately, all the time, you know, that these images are horrible and that’s because they are. So. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But again, our heart goes out to anyone who has to deal with us on the ground and like it lives in terror of this. I again, we it’s a true privilege that we live here. And.


Alison Leiby: 100%. 


Halle Kiefer: Experiencing it through our phones, you know, but we have to then what can we do from where we’re at? You know, how and how can we educate ourselves about it anyhow? Well, that’s where we’re at. And.


Alison Leiby: That’s where we’re at. And we want, you know, we want that to be clear and. Now. It is. [laughter] And we have no idea when you’re listening to this what is happening. And we can only hope. 


Halle Kiefer: I know. 


Alison Leiby: That it’s getting better, not worse. But I unfortunately am a realist and I’m not entirely sure that that will be the case. So. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Everybody take care of yourselves and thank you for joining us on Politics Corner. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: And before we get into it, I just I have to say something. I had the best English muffin of my life. 


Halle Kiefer: Lay it on me. Tell me about it. Tell me all about it.


Alison Leiby: My friend Andrea, a friend and fan of the pod who lives in my building went to San Francisco in Napa Valley on a little girl’s trip with some friends and came back and was like, I brought you a bag of English muffins. [laughs] And I was like, Tell me everything. 


Halle Kiefer: What a good friend. First of all.


Alison Leiby: Honestly the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for me. And she she had she had had one at, I believe, some bakery or something and was like she bought a bag for herself and a bag for me and froze them. And so I just had the first one I had, she gave it to me like a week or two ago. It was I mean, look, I love a Thomas, I love a Bays, I love I’ll eat any English muffin. I love the English muffin for the breakfast sandwich at Winner Bakery in Park Slope. But like this. I was like, Oh, everything else is garbage and this is all I want to eat for the rest of my life. It’s also the size of like a hamburger bun. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, hell yeah.


Alison Leiby: So it’s like you’re getting a lot because, like, sometimes a Thomas’s you eat it and you’re like, I could have three more. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. You’re getting bang for your buck.


Alison Leiby: A big, large, gorgeous, preservative free, fresh, crispy, chewy. I put ricotta and hot honey and everything bagel seasoning on it. 


Halle Kiefer: Oof. 


Alison Leiby: It was so good. I just. I it’s. It’s like, the best thing that’s happened to me in weeks. 


Halle Kiefer: My mouth is salivating. 


Alison Leiby: I know, I’m going to have trouble recording. While I’m thinking about making another one. 


Halle Kiefer: Also, it’s like, can you replicate that? That’s my question is like, well, you can’t easily go get it right. 


Alison Leiby: No, I can’t. 


Halle Kiefer: So can you try to replicate it at home. Would you? 


Alison Leiby: Well I have like, I’ve got like, I think it’s a pack of eight in my freezer. So at least if I can, like, parcel them out to do like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: You know, 1 or 2 a week and it’ll get me at least through the end of the year. But you know that I’m fucked. I wonder if they deliver and like, if I could just, like, order that. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I would pay. 


Halle Kiefer: What’s that brand? Like Goldbelly? I feel like a lot of places use.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: The question is are you willing to pay $70. It’s going to be that kind of like am I paying 40 bucks for—


Alison Leiby: I might be. This was so good. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: As a holiday treat for yourself. Damn okay that sounds delicious.


Alison Leiby: Anyway, shout out to Andrea for giving me English muffins. Thank you. [laughs] That’s all that’s new with me. 


Halle Kiefer: Andrea. God bless. And what’s new with me, as I told Alison, I have a shocking turn of events, is that I’ve been getting up before dawn to go running, which is very much not something that I used to be able to do. And I was sort of debating, talking about being medicated and like specifically talking about what kind of medication I’m on. So I don’t know. I’m still thinking about that, but I am medicated. 


Alison Leiby: Save that for. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: The future. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah save that for the Patreon. Yeah. Subscribe now if you want to know what medication I’m on that’s actually working. [laughter]


Alison Leiby: Our Patreon just becomes us listing prescription drugs we take. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah and also like if you hey if you’re a prescription seller that wants to pay me? I’ll mention the. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, pay me I take your drugs. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. But it’s, but it’s really interesting because I feel like it’s been very helpful with again I have not been formally diagnosed but I’ve been certainly talking about it for two years. ADHD to feel like I have a handle on things. Perhaps for the first time in my nearly 40 years of life is very weird. So it’s kind of like I’m learning to like, ride the wave of my new life, sort of like, be able to like, Oh, okay. I have to like, understand my brain in a different way. And right now my brain wants to go to bed at 8:30, wake up at four in the morning. 


Alison Leiby: Psychotic. 


Halle Kiefer: And then I don’t I usually wait till five to go running because four is too actually there’s nobody out. 


Alison Leiby: Four is like it’s danger. It feels more dangerous because it’s still— 


Halle Kiefer: It’s the dead of night.


Alison Leiby: I consider four part of night but five it’s part of day. 


Halle Kiefer: 100%. I actually tried to go running at four and there’s nobody else out. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, there’s no one out any ever in L.A., but yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, but at least five. There’s like delivery trucks. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like it’s more of like business going on. 


Alison Leiby: Four, even in New York these days four is not. 


Halle Kiefer: No, it’s the night. 


Alison Leiby: No one’s out it’s night. 


Halle Kiefer: It is the night. Especially since it’s winter.


Alison Leiby: Four is the end of the night. Five is the beginning of the morning. So.


Halle Kiefer: 100% and three is the witching hour. And we can all—


Alison Leiby: Yes, of course. 


Halle Kiefer: And then I’ve several times I took a video of it and I can’t find it in my phone. But several times I’ve been running and I’ve seen and sort of encountered as a fellow runner, the same three legged coyote. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: And there is a very L.A. woo woo part of me. I don’t think it’s there to be my friend and also I am so afraid of rabies. So in case you’re my parents listening don’t worry. I always run away. I never get near it. 


Alison Leiby: Good, good, good smart. 


Halle Kiefer: But it is so comfortable and it is nice to just see a little guy running around. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. And kind of feel like you’re not alone out there.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, exactly. He’s getting his steps in. He’s doing the couch to five K like I am. 


Alison Leiby: Aw. 


Halle Kiefer: And I don’t know, I it’s sort of like, oh, we’re entering a new phase of life in a positive way. But also I kind of have to like relearn how to do everything and like set up my life, which is good. It’s just a lot of work. You might as well lay down. But yeah, that’s the only thing that’s new with me. 


Alison Leiby: That’s great. Well, what else is new is that we’re in a new month. 


Halle Kiefer: Hell, yeah. This is, of course, December. How did that happen, Alison? 


Alison Leiby: I have no idea. 


Halle Kiefer: How did we get here? Good Lord. 


Alison Leiby: My God. 


Halle Kiefer: And I believe this is your suggestion for the holiday. We’re doing a party theme. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Movies that have or are based around or at least include one scene of parties because December is nonstop parties from top to bottom. And I feel like horror movies like parties are a big part of like, I feel like there’s a lot of horror movies that involve parties. We’ve talked about a lot of movies that are like centered around a party or an event of some kind. So I felt like that was like a fun way to end the year. And also I have a little pitch. 


Halle Kiefer: Ooh, okay. 


Alison Leiby: A gift giving season, gift buying season. If you have a friend who is a big fan of Ruined, you can buy them Patreon membership. I, I think that I was like thinking like I was like, oh I buy other subscriptions, I buy subscriptions for friends as gifts sometimes like—


Halle Kiefer: I’ve never done that and that’s such a smart idea. 


Alison Leiby: If you love it like, I don’t know, just set it for three months or however much money you have and want to spend on your friend. But that might be a fun thing that you don’t have to worry about shipping and you don’t have to worry about the supply chain or anything. So I don’t know. Just give that a thought. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. And I think when you say that, it makes me think of all the hours that people will be spending in a car, in their car or at the airport over the next month or two months, basically, you know, a lot of content there. [both speaking] Hours and hours of listening to this fucking solid gold record. 


Alison Leiby: If you don’t already. 


Halle Kiefer: Thank you for being our hype man Alison. 


Alison Leiby: I just thought, you know. We’re going to hype all these other products. We should hype ourselves up every once in a while. 


Halle Kiefer: Hell yeah. So unnamed pharmaceutical medication, English muffins. 


Alison Leiby: Ourselves. English muffins—


Halle Kiefer: And ourselves. 


Alison Leiby: Ourselves. 


Halle Kiefer: All righty. Let us begin. 


Alison Leiby: So it’s party month. 


Halle Kiefer: Party month. We’re kicking this off with an often requested movie. 


Alison Leiby: I’m excited. 


Halle Kiefer: Was in theaters. People raved about it over the summer. And then of course is Talk to Me, baby. And I had not seen it. We were kind of not, because of the strikes, we were trying not to do stuff that was in theaters. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Or even like like recently. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, yeah. 


Alison Leiby: You know, it’s just look, there was there were plenty of movies for us to do for the last few months. So it’s not like we were at a loss. But I know this one has been top of list for a lot of people. And also I can’t like see the title of this movie without thinking of Here Comes the Rain Again. Like, [singing] talk to me like lovers do. 


Halle Kiefer: Ooh. 


Alison Leiby: Are we allowed to sing on this? Probably not. 


Halle Kiefer: I think so, we’ll, autotune it. We’ll just autotune it.


Alison Leiby: There we go. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I want to say we’re allowed to do music. If we were to add that it has to be less than nine seconds or something. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So you could sing eight seconds of Talk to Me, but to what end you know what I mean?


Alison Leiby: And I can’t even that version was really a bad. People were like, I now I know less about what song you’re trying to say. So anyway, go look up that song. It’s a fabulous one and it’s all that’s playing in my head when I was looking up this movie. 


Halle Kiefer: But yeah, people raved about this film is of course, a it is from Danny and Michael Philippou, Philippou, and I apologize to both those gentlemen. You did a great job. And I did a bad job pronouncing your name, but a phenomenal film, if you ask me, it is Australian. So it is hard because I was immediately comparing it to The Babadook, you know, which is—


Alison Leiby: Feels unfair for any film. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. 100%. And I would also like to pre shout out the lead actress Sophie Wilde, who I had not heard of. It looks like she’s been mostly in Australian projects. She’s so fucking good in this movie. 


Alison Leiby: Nice. 


Halle Kiefer: And it is a movie where she has she has to have a very, very wide range because she starts it as a normal teenage girl who has of course then goes through a grueling supernatural ordeal. 


Alison Leiby: Oof, that’s tough. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s she’s absolutely phenomenal in this. And the only other person I recognized was Miranda, Miranda Otto, who has been in a million different things. I, of course, associate with her with being in Lord of the Rings. 


Alison Leiby: Oh sure. 


Halle Kiefer: But yeah. If you, once you see her, you know exactly who she is. A treat for the senses, a feast for the eyes. We always like to have Alison watch the trailer. Alison, what did you think about the Talk to Me trailer? 


Alison Leiby: Um, no, thank you. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: I would not do this. I do not want to go to parties where people are doing this. I do not want to see that hand. Ever. Very scary trailer. I remember when it came out being like. Well. This is a this is not going to be one I’m going to watch. 


Halle Kiefer: Now, is there any particular images that stood out to you as something particularly horrifying? 


Alison Leiby: There there’s like a fuzzy I’m sure that there’s like something about like trauma and grief in this. But I think she’s like speaking to her dead mother on the other side possibly. 


Halle Kiefer: She sure is, she sure is. 


Alison Leiby: And it’s like, we get this like very grainy, blurred vision of what her mother might look like. And it was just like, you’re like, I know her face isn’t normal, but I can’t tell why yet. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And it like I’d rather see the scary face, but the trailer just shows you that’s like before it comes into focus if it ever does, I don’t know. But I was like, Oh God. The unknown sometimes is much scarier than the known. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. You know you hit the nail on the head, Alison, And what I like, one of the main things I like about this movie is that they do not overly explain what’s happening. We don’t know really. 


Alison Leiby: Oh I like that. 


Halle Kiefer: That because it’s a much like very excellent movies like we are. They’re just a bunch of teenagers who have encountered some sort of supernatural apparatus. And instead of going on perhaps a quest to find its origin, they’re basically using it to get high. And I think that’s a very interesting approach to what horror is like what what? But we’ll get into the details, obviously. And I guess the question is taking a baseline, scary as we always do. Alison, how scary do you consider the concept of recreational possession? 


Alison Leiby: I mean. Bad. Like.


Halle Kiefer: Bad.


Alison Leiby: I think like all like I’m a I’m a big alcohol and marijuana consumer and I’m good. I like mushrooms. 


Halle Kiefer: I think that’s yeah. Your, top it off at that. 


Alison Leiby: Even like mushrooms. I’m like, I just like micro dosing. I don’t like full trips. Like, I don’t like I really it’s not for me, but I can see how it is. Like a just like another if possession were like a real thing and like the demons on the other side were a real thing, I could see how easy that step is over. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: From psychedelics. And psychotropics. 


Halle Kiefer: 100%. 


Alison Leiby: Like, that’s like I get how people could get there. It wouldn’t be me. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, I feel like it’s I think perhaps I have the opposite where I’m like, you know what, listen. If I was at a party. And people were doing it. You know, I would. And what this movie suggests is don’t do that, because that’s exactly how things fall to shit. But I do unfortunately think if this was normal or like if other people were doing it, I would assume, well, it’s not that bad. As it turns out, Alison, if you could imagine, it does end up being that bad. 


Alison Leiby: Yes I bet. 


Halle Kiefer: Something to keep in mind and of course, it does operate in large part as a drug metaphor. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, sort of like, you know, what are you using it for? What does it give you? You know, do you how often do you want to do it? And then finally, before we get started, would you like to guess the twist in, Talk to Me?


[voice over]: Guess the twist? 


Alison Leiby: You’re saying it’s a metaphor makes me now go back on what I was going to guess, but I was going to guess that, like. It’s not that she’s possessed. When you touch the hand, it’s that like the hand is made of some kind of psychotropic like that. It’s like. It’s like actually. Like you know how people lick frogs and go on take a trip or whatever. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: That it’s kind of something in that world. So it’s like what feels like a possession is actually just like a mind altered state from like chemicals and not actually being on the other side. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. And what what would I, what would you guess it would be when I tell you that that’s not what it is? 


Alison Leiby: That’s not what it is. It’s a metaphor. I’m I’m going to guess that she finds out her mom’s death was like, not what she was expect. Like maybe it’s like it was sad, but it turns out she was like. Murdered. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay great. 


Alison Leiby: A murderer. A murder? I don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: You’re cycling. I mean, you’re circling around. 


Alison Leiby: Something. 


Halle Kiefer: You’re right in the right area. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah. I’m going to guess. I’m going to guess it’s about her mom’s death and, like, the realities of who her mom was. Maybe. 


Halle Kiefer: Phenomenal. So let us begin ruining Talk to Me, baby. We open on a an enraged blond man, and he. This blond man is like so many Australian men. I believe he’s supposed to be either in his teens or early 20s. He looks like a 40 year old man. Like he is like a. So at first I was like, oh, it’s somebody’s dad arriving at a like a popping high school party. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s looking his name is Cole and he’s looking for his brother, Duckett. Again, we’re in Australia. 


Alison Leiby: Australia. 


Halle Kiefer: I assume that’s what everyone’s name is. 


Alison Leiby: Upside down and all kinds of wrong. 


Halle Kiefer: And so eventually he finds the host. She’s like, Oh, yeah, Duckett’s locked himself in my bedroom. Cole immediately does the right thing, which is just bust the door down with his shoulder. I think it’s like we’ve already we’re arriving in the middle of the story, so Cole’s like, I cannot have my brother locked alone in his bedroom. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m getting through the door and he’s Australian, so the thing just flies off its hinges just immediately. And he hauls his brother out and his brother Duckett looks does not look so hot. He’s shirtless, covered in deep scratches. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, no. 


Halle Kiefer: And he turns to his brother and he says, Pop says you’re going to hurt a lot of people. And Cole’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Probably right. 


Halle Kiefer: Kind of assuming like, Oh, are you on drugs? Like what? Like what? Are you wasted? Like, what are you saying? And Duckett looks up and says, you’re not him. But Cole’s thinking. I just got to get him out of here. He’s fucked up. Unfortunately, Alison when they walk through the kitchen, other kids start, like, filming them with their phone because Duckett’s so fucked up. Like he can’t even walk. And Cole, as his brother starts defending him, like, don’t film this like you’re being assholes. And as he’s yelling, I thought the sound design was so excellent in this movie. As he’s yelling, you can hear what is obviously somebody taking a knife out of a butcher’s block. And then he turns and his brother stabs him in the chest. 


Alison Leiby: What the fuck? 


Halle Kiefer: And everyone at the party has the exact reaction you just did and screams and scatters. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they’re sort of standing in front of an open patio door. Duckett walks outside and turns, and then he takes the butcher knife, which is still in his hand, and he stabs it into his own eye. And he collapses while everyone in the party screams and runs and tries to get help. 


Alison Leiby: What a terrible party.


Halle Kiefer: It is. It’s the party of the year. A party you have to remember. Sometime later, we meet our protagonist, Mia, who’s a teenage girl. She is at what I assume is a funeral. It’s actually a sort of a memorial service. They refer to it as a Remembrance Day. I don’t know if that’s Australian or if it’s some sort of faith tradition, but it is not an actual funeral. It is the second year anniversary of her mother’s death. So everyone’s sort of gathered. Her aunt is there, her dad, as you know, she and her dad have like an awkward teen dad interaction. And her aunt Aunty Lee said, well, so do you know what you want to do after graduation? Do you want to work for your dad? And Mia is obviously not in a great place, you know. She’s like, I don’t even, you know. Afterwards, we see her sort of had that hostile back turned teenage reaction to her dad, sort of trying as a dad to be like, oh, you sound like you’re getting a cold, like she’s sneezing. And she’s like, yes, probably. 


Alison Leiby: Leave me alone. 


Halle Kiefer: And he tries to be like, Well, how was today for you? And she clearly does not want to get into it. But luckily her phone rings and it’s a boy asking her to pick him up. So we we meet up with I think Mia’s supposed to be like 16. And these kids are James and Riley. They’re 14, so they’re younger than her. But, you know, all kind of around the same age. And James and Riley are smoking a cigarette near a basketball court. They’ve been skateboarding. And James says like he’s been selling cigarettes to kids at school. But Riley refuses to smoke. And James is like, Oh my God, you’re such a fetus. It’s not a big deal. And James also says, My stupid, fat mom’s going to come pick me up. She’s probably busy sucking dicks. And I’m like, First of all, that guy just got a Netflix special. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And second of all, I am not in the mood for teenagers. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: So every time these two talk, I feel like I feel like I was like Dr. Phil, I’m like, What the hell? Have some God damned respect—


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I’m not here for that.


Halle Kiefer: Like, it’s just like—


Alison Leiby: How dare you. 


Halle Kiefer: And I understand it’s simply a part of life where you have to be an asshole or like, be like smoke a cigarette you fetus. But it’s like I am past that part where I ever would interact with it even on screen. So we find out that Mia’s picking up Riley, who is the younger brother of her best friend, Jade. Alison. On their way home. Again, a beautifully shot moment. They’re driving and they’re singing in radio. And then both of their faces fall and Mia brings the car to the shoulder. And we don’t know what they’re looking at, but whatever it is is not good. 


Alison Leiby: They’re seeing, there’s something that they’re seeing, though. That’s okay. 


Halle Kiefer: There’s something in lying in the middle of the road, Alison. And so she pulls over. She gets out of the car, which I would say, don’t do this. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, don’t do that. 


Halle Kiefer: But unfortunately, they encounter a dying kangaroo, which I think is kind of our version of a dying deer. 


Alison Leiby: Okay yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So the cervid of Australia being a kangaroo. 


Alison Leiby: Okay, I’m interested, Australians, if you are listening, one, we’re so sorry for already disparaging your country continent, but also what is your cervid? You tell us. 


Halle Kiefer: You probably have actual cervids. We don’t know. 


Alison Leiby: We don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: And for a second, Mia gets back in the car. There’s a moment where it’s sort of like, oh, is she going to hit it to put it out of its misery? Right. It’s dying. It’s obviously dying. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And Riley’s kind of like— 


Alison Leiby: You can’t save it. And you won’t. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, like Riley’s saying like, it’s crying. Like you should just do it. I don’t think you’re obligated to run over an animal to euthanize it. Also, what if it just hurt it even more? I don’t think you have to do that. 


Alison Leiby: Right. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But it is it sort of sets up the idea of like, how much misery. Like the concept of putting something out of its misery. You know what I mean? But they drive on home, and finally they get to a Riley and Jade’s house, and Jade is too busy texting with her boyfriend Daniel, and she just forgot to pick up Riley. And so clearly, Mia has sort of like, you know, at home, obviously, her mother’s death and her father kind of awkwardly try to have relationship. This family is sort of like her. They’re like warm and nice to her. And I feel like she’s sort of like, pick this. Like, this is my real family. Like, I want to hang out with you guys and Jade is sort of a little sister to her. You know, Riley is a younger brother, and Mia tells Jade about the dying kangaroo, and she says, Well, why didn’t, why not just call the RSPCA? And Mia says, I don’t know why I didn’t it didn’t it didn’t occur to me, you know, and obviously this is a premonition of what will happen later. But we don’t have time because shit’s popping off in the group chat. So like a high school chat. 


Alison Leiby: Okay good. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison they’re watching a video which I believe was in the trailer of a teen girl whose eyes are black. She is seizing and she is seemingly possessed. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And this again like, I’m like Dr. Phil. I’m like, you and your kids your ELFBAR’s and your flip flops don’t be getting possessed. You got to go to college, you know, just—


Alison Leiby: ELFBAR’s and flip flops. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Well what are you kids like? You know? And Mia says they’re doing it again tonight. We should go. But Riley. Riley, who we’ve already saw tonight, shoot down the cigarette. So I think he’s sort of like, younger and, like, nervous. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And doesn’t want to do it right. And Mia tells Jade, you know, today is the two year anniversary of my mom’s death. And can we just please go so I could be distracted? Like, you don’t have to do it because Jade’s like. I don’t know. And Mia also jokes about Jade’s boyfriend, Daniel, and she’s like, Oh, if Daniel comes, tell him he can touch touch my Gucci. And apparently, like, she and Daniel had some flirtation three years ago, like in middle school. Right? Like they held hands one. So he’s like, actually, he was my boyfriend first, jokingly. But Jade and Daniel have just started dating like three months ago, and he says, okay, I’ll go to the party. If Daniel could come with. Right. I’m also just going to refer to the what they end up doing as talk to me. Cause I’m like, It is a possession ritual. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. There’s not like a name. They don’t have a name for it. Yeah that’s tough.


Halle Kiefer: Which I like. Which I really like. Because you wouldn’t like if you were just some kids who found something, you would just be like we’re going to that guy’s house to do that thing we always do, right? Like, there’s something about that that makes sense to me. So. Jade sort of kicks Mia out. Like I’m going to call Daniel and Mia hangs out with Riley until Jade and Riley’s mom, Sue, comes home. Sue is at an 11 all the fucking time. [laughter] She’s like, What are you are you kids doing drugs in here? Is somebody drinking is somebody having sex. And it’s like, okay, I understand the impulse. 


Alison Leiby: I get but it. 


Halle Kiefer: We got to take it down. 


Alison Leiby: Bring it down a little bit. 


Halle Kiefer: Take it to an eight, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, take it to a eight. 


Halle Kiefer: And she unfortunately, she apologized to the mom, apologizes to Mia for not making it to her mom’s Remembrance Day. And Mia says, you know, honestly, it’s been really hard to be around my dad because he’s so depressing. And again, Sue is sort of like standing in for her mother, you know. And and Sue obviously, like, loves Mia, like welcomes her into her home and is sort of being the same, controlling that she is towards her kids, you know, And, you know, it’s also like, oh, yeah, I guess your dad would be depressed because his wife is the mother of his child died. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s that’s a bummer. You know, one of the biggest bummers you could have, you know, and Sue gives her a Kleenex is like, I’m sure you’re fine. Just a cold, which again, having lived through Covid, it’s like, well, you should get tested. You know, we should acknowledge the pandemic—


Alison Leiby: Absolutely get a test and throw on a mask If you’re going to go to the store. 


Halle Kiefer: And Jade’s sort of like they end up sneaking out. But like Sue obviously knows that they’re leaving the house. But Jade tries to pretend like they’re like she’s like, Oh, mom, when are you going to sleep? It’s like you only ask me when I’m going to sleep, when you’re sneaking out just don’t like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, We’re not going to drink. And the mom is more concerned that Jade will have sex with Daniel. And Jade’s like, Don’t worry, he’s ultra Christian, which to me is an even bigger red flag. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I’m more worried now. 


Halle Kiefer: Also, like if he’s ultra Christian, that means when you do have sex, you won’t have neither of you will have a condom. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like it doesn’t make you not human. It just means like you’re going to be more fucked up about it, you know? But eventually the mom’s like, whatever, I know you’re going to go and Jade and Mia are about to leave. And Mia invites Riley, which Jade doesn’t like. But whatever. They’re just going to somebody’s house. They don’t have to do with other people are doing, obviously. And on the way, Jade admits that she and Daniel hadn’t even kissed. They’ve dating for three months. And Mia was like, Oh, my God, what are you talking about? What a prude. That’s crazy. So they roll up to the party, which is fun. And the host is this asshole Hayley, who? I don’t. The. The performer is trans. I don’t know if the character is they them. I’m just going to call them. They them. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But I this, this character Hayley is sort of like the bully that also is they and this other person, Joss, they sort of have found this thing that’s going to allow people to become temporarily possessed recreationally. 


Alison Leiby: Found this thing. You know, I’m going to need more yet. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. 


Alison Leiby: But I know you’re going to give it to me. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. Okay. So I’m checking the performer their, their name is Zoe Terakes. And they are they them so I’ll say they them. So Hayley and Joss have found this artifact and of course, are then using it essentially to get high. Right. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So everybody’s at this party and they’re sort of like laughing. And Daniel meets them and we see that Jade and Daniel are just immediately fit in. And Mia is so awkward and Hayley hates Mia. It’s like, Oh, did you have to bring her? She’s so clingy. She’s so weird. It’s like, sure, her mother died. Can you kids not have any compassion. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like please? You know, I’m like, for God’s sakes, you know? But she’s really awkward. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s kind of, like, slinking around. And just sort of a swing and a miss trying to talk to people who just have no interest. And Jade is her best friend. So Jade is really warm and like, you know, obviously, don’t worry, whatever. And so, you know, something bad is going to happen between her and Jade because they do have a good relationship. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And Hayley goes to Jade and Hayley are talking and Hayley sees Mia laughing with Daniel is like, oh, you know, looks like she’s trying to fuck your man. And Jade said she would never do something like that. Finally, Alison luckily is talk to me time. 


Alison Leiby: Hell yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So Joss, who is the other host of the party, brings out like a leather recliner and says, you know, oh Riley, you should go first because he’s obviously a couple of years younger than everyone. And Jade said, He’s not doing this. He is my younger brother. He’s not fucking doing this right. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: And Hayley and Joss argue about who can go first. And Hayley said, Oh, I should be able to go. It’s my hand. And basically we find out that they got it from Duckett, the person at the beginning of the movie. But they’re sort of arguing. And then finally—


Alison Leiby: We have no concept of where Duckett got it right. No? 


Halle Kiefer: No. And again. 


Alison Leiby: Do we ever find out. 


Halle Kiefer: No. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. Just want to set my expectations.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, 100%. You think someone would ask that question? It’s very it follows like, I feel like what I found satisfying was for me, it follows where people are just like, I don’t know, some guy just gave me it. And then now my life’s horrible. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, you know what nobody’s doing? Nobody’s going to the local library. Nobody’s getting out, like, Googling hand that makes you possessed. 


Alison Leiby: A special hand. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. But there’s sort of arguing. And then Mia sees Jade and Daniel holding hands, and I think Mia is like, Oh, no, I’m a loser. I like. I see Jade and Daniel sort of like partnering up. And then I’ll have no one. I have to do something to be socially a little more included. Mia says I’ll go first. It’s time for talk to me. And also, Jade doesn’t believe this. Like, she’s like, okay, I see Hayley has posted the videos. It’s staged. It’s a hoax. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like TikTok Like, it’s like, oh, it’s some thing—


Alison Leiby: Everything on TikTok is fake. I refuse to believe any of it’s real unless it’s just somebody kind of like, fallen over. 


Halle Kiefer: And I feel like that’s that’s the right way to approach things, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And so they strap Mia to the recliner. They basically use a chain to chain her to the recliner and then they take out from the trailer you see, it’s a plaster or a ceramic hand cover with names all over it. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And Hayley—


Alison Leiby: So, it is so it’s not like. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, so they we eventually we get into an argument about it, but Joss says, well, you know, actually there’s a real human hand it’s just covered in ceramic. But—


Alison Leiby: See I was thinking. 


Halle Kiefer: How would you know that? 


Alison Leiby: I was thinking it’s like even though this is not a thing, but like it’s like petrified wood of a hand. You know what I mean?


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, like a mummification process or something. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So, yeah, it’s definitely is ceramic or plaster of some kind. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. Smooth. 


Halle Kiefer: But the idea is like, oh, maybe there’s a hand inside— 


Alison Leiby: Inside inside of it. We don’t know.


Halle Kiefer: And Hayley tells Mia. 


[clip of Zoe Terakes]: All right. Somebody time it. Soon as she lets it in, it cannot go for more than 90 seconds. Am I clear?


[clip of Sophie Wilde]: What happens after 90 seconds. 


[clip of Zoe Terakes]: They’ll want to stay. 


Halle Kiefer: And what else does Mia have to do? They light a candle and she has to hold the hand and say, Talk to me. I let you in. So Mia starts, she holds the hand and she starts and says, Talk to me. And in front of her immediately, it’s an old man with milky eyes. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: At Mia has your reaction, which is she screams, and let’s go of the hand. 


Alison Leiby: Old man with milky eyes?


Halle Kiefer: Milky eyes Alison.


Alison Leiby: You lost me at old man. 


Halle Kiefer: Now, how do you feel about the milky eyes, though? 


Alison Leiby: Terrible. It’s even worse. 


Halle Kiefer: But he has to keep his milk somewhere. You can’t keep them in your eyes. 


Alison Leiby: I guess it’s a storage vessel. 


Halle Kiefer: Thank you. Thank you for admitting that I’m right. 


Alison Leiby: You’re right. You’re right. Old men keep milk in their eyes. 


Halle Kiefer: I was like, Is that merch? I don’t know.


Alison Leiby: I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know any more. What’s merch? 


Halle Kiefer: Obviously also like, everyone is recording this, right? So everyone has their phones out they’re laughing and she lets go and Hayley and Joss are dying laughing like, Oh my God, you know, she’s had such a big reaction to seeing the undead. And Mia says, What the fuck was that? And Jade’s Jade assumes that Mia is playing along. To be popular. She’s like, Don’t lie. Like, don’t don’t give them this. And Mia says, No, I did see something. Jade is still not believing it. So Mia is basically to prove it. Like I’ll. I’ll prove to you. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Mia holds the hand again and completes the full phrase. Talk to me. I let you in. This time. The ghost that appears is sort of like a long haired, fat woman again. Eyes milky as hell. Pure, full fat Greek yogurt in those eyes. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And it looks like she’s drowned. Like she’s soaking wet, and her eyes are kind of moving independently. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t like that. That must be the milk talking. 


Halle Kiefer: I just had too much goddamn milk is what it looks like. 


Alison Leiby: A little 9% over here. A little 2% over here. 


Halle Kiefer: These kids are out here drinking too much God damned milk, talking to the devil, you know? But Mia, again like once you see that get like that don’t continue saying I let you in. That’s like—


Alison Leiby: Wrap it up. That’s not even if you like. Even if you don’t think it’s possession and you do think it’s just like kind of a trip. Like also not fun. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Right? Exactly right. If you just think, oh, I’m hallucinating cause I’m touching, like you said, a hallucinogenic frog or something. I’m getting some sort of contact high. I’d be like, that was enough. I saw two crazy people. I’m going to go.


Alison Leiby: That’s good. That’s. I’m fine. I’m done. 


Halle Kiefer: But of course, she completes the phrase. She’s not a coward like you or I.  She completes the phrase and suddenly Mia’s eyes go black as we see in the trailer. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And her head falls back and she starts channeling the spirit. The spirit enters her body. And she starts talking as a spirit. And she sort of gesturing at this empty chair and in a different voice says, he’s right behind you. And then she turns to Riley and. And she tells Riley he’ll split yeah. Pretty boy. Run, run, run! And then she’s just screaming. Run. And the whole everyone in the room is like, What the fuck is going on? And even Jade, who is dubious, is sort of seeing the front door opens and slams. The lights start to flicker. 


Alison Leiby: No. No. Nope.


Halle Kiefer: And all these kids are filming like, Oh, shit, this is crazy. Also, Mia’s skin. Like when people are possessed, like their skin starts to go red and peely around their mouth and eyes like their skin changes a little. 


Alison Leiby: Maybe that’s what was going on with my skin a few weeks ago that I talked about on the pod, it was probably a possession. 


Halle Kiefer: And you do have that hand just because. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, you know, sometimes you just want to hold a hand at home. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: When it’s been a while Alison. You know what I mean?


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Rizz is too soft and cuddly. I need a ceramic hand to make me feel something. 


Halle Kiefer: What if you held his hand and you were possessed by a dead cat. How would you feel about that? 


Alison Leiby: Hmm. I don’t know. That doesn’t seem. I think I can take a cat. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah—


Alison Leiby: If I had to fight it. 


Halle Kiefer: Fortunately, Hayley’s timing the possession, and at 83 seconds tells Joss, pull her hand physically pull her hand out of the plaster hand. Alison, Mia will not let go, and everyone starts to freak out because, like, they can’t get the hand out of her hand. It’s like counting the seconds. And finally they are able to wrench the hand out of Mia’s hand and Hayley to close out the possession blows out the candle. And so it’s like the important end, blows the candle and goes over to Hayley. Goes over to Mia, Hayley, who has been a huge asshole to me this whole time. Hayley’s like, we. We did go a little over. I just want to flag. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: But also, they’re all just dumb teenagers, so it’s like they don’t know what that means or whatever. And so, Mia opens her eyes. Her eyes are normal again, and everyone’s staring. Jade is concerned. Riley is in tears because he’s like— 


Alison Leiby: Understandably.


Halle Kiefer: And Mia raises her head and goes, That was incredible. And all the kids cheer. 


Alison Leiby: Okay, okay.


Halle Kiefer: Except Jade and Riley, who are already like, this is not going to go and well for us. 


Alison Leiby: Mm mm. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, at this point I would ask you, what would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do? 


Alison Leiby: I think I would, like, start surrounding myself with professionals and protection. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: Like. Let’s get. You know, a professional, spooky lady in the mix, like some kind of psychic or medium or something. It’s just like we’ve already, like, crossed that line, so why not have somebody on call in case this goes south, but also some general health professionals and safety people? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, and there is something too where it’s like it is obviously a movie about trauma. 


Alison Leiby: Trauma. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, like the thing that leads her on is her trauma with her mother. 


Alison Leiby: Of course, of course.


Halle Kiefer: It is funny cause, like, living in L.A., I’m like, where would I find, like, a spooky lady or witch. I was like—


Alison Leiby: At a store? 


Halle Kiefer: I was like, I’ll just go on Lex, like the lesbian, gay and queer app. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah yeah yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like there’s going to be I’m within a stone’s throw. I’m sure there’s ten spooky ladies who at least give me some advice of like, what is this. 


Alison Leiby: You can walk into like three different crystal stores on Melrose and be fine.


Halle Kiefer: Oh. Absolutely. So I feel like I’d be able to, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Find someone. 


Halle Kiefer: Eventually. Yeah. 




Halle Kiefer: Back at home. They leave the party and Mia stays over at Riley and Jade’s house and sleeps on the pullout couch. And it’s raining and it just looks so cozy. And she’s like up. And obviously she’s thinking about when she was possessed at the party. 


Alison Leiby: Yes of course, it’s probably all you would be thinking about all the time. 


Halle Kiefer: What every teen girl goes through and we see Riley is genuinely shaken and tries to go take his pillow, like go sleep with his sister. And his sister says, I’m bitch she’s up texting Daniel too. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like you’re not sleeping here. You are a baby. I don’t want to deal with that. So then he goes to get water in the living room and gets into the pullout bed with Jade. And I do think it’s funny where, like, clearly Jade is traumatized and like, they’re her family because the idea of me sleeping in a pullout couch with any of my friend’s younger brothers, I’d be like—


Alison Leiby: Absolutely not. 


Halle Kiefer: I will sleep outside. 


Alison Leiby: I’ll sleep on the floor. 


Halle Kiefer: Disgusting. Yeah. Like I would have been in the way that I was like with my brothers growing up. It was like, get out of my fucking face. Like it would not have been. She’s very kind, but obviously she’s seeking something after her mother’s death. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s like it’s a it’s not—


Alison Leiby: It’s a different need. 


Halle Kiefer: —relationship she would have had otherwise. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And so, you know, she says, oh, do you get nightmares? He’s like, yeah. Well no. And she says, you know, I have a recurring nightmare. And the nightmare that Mia has is she looks in the mirror in a dream and her reflection is gone. And because Riley’s a child. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s like, Why did your mom die? Like, I don’t know what happened. 


Alison Leiby: Right. What happened there? 


Halle Kiefer: And we get the story where basically she accidentally OD’d on sleeping pills. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And when her dad was sleeping on the couch, and when he is this horrible image and it’s, again, like just so deeply sad and effective where it’s like when he got up in the morning, he and I assumed like, oh, they had had a fight. Right. Like her dad was sleeping on the couch. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Maybe they had a fight. When he got up in the morning. He couldn’t get the bedroom door open because her mom was right behind it. And when they found her, she had clawed at the door and so clearly, like, had actually OD’d, but realized it and was trying to get out, but was already dying. So it’s like, what a horrifying image. 


Alison Leiby: That’s so sad.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Like her nails split. She’d clawed at the door. And Riley says. Jade says you got depression after that. It’s like, yeah, that’ll do it. That’ll fucking do it.


Alison Leiby: Yeah that’ll do it.


Halle Kiefer: Woo. Mia says, yeah, I really did. But I’ll be honest. Like hanging out with Jade and you like, I don’t feel alone anymore. So I really like, you know, I’m really glad you guys want to be my friends. And Riley is a sweetheart. Like, well, yeah, we’re friends. You don’t have to feel alone. And I was like, Oh, no, something bad is going to happen between the three of them. Everything is going so well, you know? And we do get this very spooky moment where Riley falls asleep and we see Mia, like he’s watching clips of whatever the Australian version of. So You Want to be a Millionaire, or what was it, what was the name of that?


Alison Leiby: Who Wants to be a Millionaire? 


Halle Kiefer: Who Wants, So You Want to be a Millionaire? Yeah—


Alison Leiby: Does anybody wanna be a millionaire? Beginning of a pyramid scheme.


Halle Kiefer: And she like takes his phone. Takes his like earbuds, AirPods? AirPods out. And we see her hand sort of drift over his mouth, and she doesn’t touch him. But it’s just such a weird gesture. I think it’s sort of like to create within us an  uncertainty about who all’s going to end up possessed, right? So the next day Jade goes to Hayley at school and says, Can Daniel wants to do talk to me? And Hayley says, Yeah, but we can’t do the Joss’s house because we kind of wrecked it during the last time we hung out. And his family’s pissed. So Joss and I will come over with the hand, but it has to be at your house. So they’ll be at Jade and Riley’s house. Right? And I thought that Hayley should be charging people, but they. But they were. 


Alison Leiby: 100%. 


Halle Kiefer: I was like, you can be running, like, a pretty sweet little deal. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But I think it’s like. 


Alison Leiby: A business. 


Halle Kiefer: It just generally makes people want to hang out with them and think they’re cool. So I think that that’s the cachet of the hand, right? 


Alison Leiby: That makes sense. 


Halle Kiefer: So the the gang converges at Jade and Riley’s house and Daniel shows up when Sue is about to leave. And like Sue, of course, sees that a boy is there. It’s like you kids are going to do your your alcohol hand job parties. You’re going to impregnate my daughter with vodka, you know, like she’s just at an 11. And Daniel’s like, no, no, I’m extremely religious, which means when we do have unprotected sex, we will get pregnant. Don’t worry.


Alison Leiby: It will be catastrophic. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And so Riley’s dumb little friend we met earlier. James is also there. And Sue sort of storms around like Riley and James are in Riley’s room. Jade, Mia and Daniel are in Jade’s room, and she’s like, You better not be having a party. I have to leave for my job at the horror movie parrot factory. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Where I’m gone at like 8 p.m.. Yeah, it’s like she’s working whenever—


Alison Leiby: I’m home but I’m also always stressed. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And I did assume, much like we said about Sydney’s father in Scream, that she is a carabiner saleswoman. 


Alison Leiby: In Australia. Absolutely. A carabiner salesman.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, probably the hotbed—


Alison Leiby: Carabiner country. 


Halle Kiefer: —of carabiner sales. So she is stressed. See, it’s the end of the fiscal year. She is breaking the glass cliff or whatever they call it in the carabiner industry. So she has to leave at 8 p.m. to go work. And finally she she beats it. Hayley and Joss arrive and it’s talk to me time. Right. And they set up in the living room. They put a table and a chair and Daniel takes a seat in the chair and they do something where they strap him in, basically. And that’s where we get the argument of like, it’s actually the, I heard it the hand of a psychic and it’s cut off and it’s embalmed and they covered in in ceramics.


Alison Leiby: Okay, I like that theory. 


Halle Kiefer: And Hayley’s like, no, it’s a medium or wait, it was, is a was a Satanist. But the point is that they they only know the myth about it either like they don’t know and they don’t care. They’re just going to do it.


Alison Leiby: They’re just doing it anyway. 


Halle Kiefer: Also, Jade and Riley have a very stinky, cute bulldog named Cookie. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, I know Cookie is in the trailer.


Halle Kiefer: Is so sweet and so cute. Everyone’s like, If your dog stinks, your dog’s always farting, which I think was a very fun, you know, like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, cute. 


Halle Kiefer: Worldbuilding, just like, oh yes, someone stinky dog, always farting. 


Alison Leiby: A little farting dog. 


Halle Kiefer: So Daniel goes into he, he says he holds the hand. He says, Talk to me. I let you win. And he of course, immediately his eyes go black, he starts to have the head goes back and he starts to choke. And. Jade’s panicking and Hayley says, No, it’s fine. This happens every time. And, you know, when he sort of comes into the possession, Daniel says to Jade, he hates it when you touch it. You make him soft, and he starts, like, moaning and staring at Mia, licking his lips and sort of like rubbing his chest at Hayley and Joss, of course are recording. This is like, oh, my God, he’s freaking out. 


Alison Leiby: What the fuck, yeah. And so he topples over in the chair to the floor and starts to like, hump the air. And Cookie runs over and Alison, he starts making out with the dog. 


Alison Leiby: Yuck. 


Halle Kiefer: And Hayley and Joss are dying, laughing. They’re like, this is the best thing I’ve ever seen. And Jade, of course, is disgusted and runs over to grab Cookie. And then finally, she blows out the candle to end the possession. Daniel’s really upset. He’s like, You better delete those videos. And he storms out, like, really angrily. And when he does, Mia says, Can I go again? And Jade’s like, You want to do that again? Like after seeing this, like, what are you talking about? And she’s like, Just put your thot dog in the hallway and do not record this and I want to do it. So then it’s a party, like it’s drugs. Like, yeah, Mia goes and then Joss, and then Hayley and then Daniel comes back. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah everyone’s going. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re all having a blast. Like, they’re all, like, going nuts and like, because it gives you and they don’t describe what the experience is, which I think is also very cool. Like, that’s smart. Like you could sort of project your own, but it’s like exhilarating or euphoric, like it’s like a fully out of body in this, like, insane way. And then Daniel goes again and Joss, and Riley and James want to go, but they’re 14. And Jade says, No, they’re too young. We cannot let them do this. But Mia is the one who says, Well what if just did it for like 60 seconds? We’re not going to push it to 90. Like, what are 50 seconds, you know? And Jade says, No, Riley, you’re going to come in my room and cry all night and be a baby. And Riley says, I hate you. And they sort of get into a sibling fight and Jade storms out. And in Jade’s absence, Riley says, I want to do it. The 50 seconds. And Mia is both like now. She’s sort of the older sister, and now she’s like, Oh, should I let it? But Mia says, okay. So they strap Riley in. Riley does the talk to me, and it’s immediately like, Riley, lets go of the hand like Mia did initially terrified seeing the ghost. But Mia says, No, no, you just get past it. It’s totally fine. So now she’s kind of encouraging it, right? And he does the talk to me. He says, Let I let you in, Alison. He becomes possessed. His eyes go black. He turns to Mia and says. 


[clip of Joe Bird]: I never want to hurt you. I miss you so, so much Mia. I don’t want you to hate me. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. He’s channeling her mother’s ghost. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And she, Mia, immediately understands what’s going on is like Mom? 


Alison Leiby: Right, right, right, right. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s been 50 seconds, and Hayley calls it and says. We’re doing 50 seconds but Mia says, No, let it keep going because it’s her mother. 


Alison Leiby: But it’s also like. 


Halle Kiefer: And. 


Alison Leiby: Then you go. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. But I guess, like if you’re possessed by your own mother’s ghost. 


Alison Leiby: Right, you won’t be able to process yeah yeah yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Interact it. Yeah. It’s a good question. And Riley tells her, I’m so proud of you. And Mia’s crying. It’s like, I love you and Riley says I love you back. And then Riley’s hearts choking and sort of gets stuck on the word got is I got. I got. I got. And then smashes his face on the table in front of him. And then over and over breaking his nose, blood everywhere. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Everyone’s freaking out. Runs to him, Alison. He reaches out, reaches up to his eyeball and starts to pull his eyeball out of his socket. Luckily, they’re able to stop him. 


Alison Leiby: No, no. No, no, no.


Halle Kiefer: But everyone sort of running to him to, like, get him to let go of the hand. His chair flies horizontally across the room and his head smashes the window, so his face is cut up and bloody, and he starts smashing his face against a dresser. And before he could do it again, essentially one that was starting to, like, crack his skull. Jade runs back in, hearing everyone scream and throws her hand between his head in the wood and he smashes his skull down and we see Mia stunned like everyone’s panicking and it’s sort of like the sound gets sucked out of the room. We just see Mia walk into the hallway. Meanwhile, everyone sort of planning like we have to call 911. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like he’s that badly injured. What are we going to tell the police? Someone has to hide the hand. Like they’re immediately like, What’s our story going to believe? They’re not going to believe the hand is real. Like they’re immediately trying to strategize. Right. And that’s why Alison, Mia goes into the kitchen and she hears a scratching at the back door and she sees that image. She turns and through the glass, she sees a woman standing there, her mother. And then the figure is gone. So luckily, they do do the right thing. They call 911. 


Alison Leiby: Okay good I’m glad. 


Halle Kiefer: Riley gets taken to the hospital. But then all then they all get interview the cops and we don’t really find out what they said. But the cops assume, okay, so you gave this kid, gave this kid drugs, he freaked out or you beat him up over drugs. They’re assuming the kids, a normal thing they didn’t know about the possession. 


Alison Leiby: Right. Not like a hand that brings back demons or anything like that. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. 


Alison Leiby: That’d be quite a leap. 


Halle Kiefer: And we also hear the phone call over some of our interviews of Jade having to call her mother, who was like, What the fuck are you talking about? I leave you alone to sell carabiners for two goddamn seconds. And so Mia goes home and released by the police and her dad says, Can you be honest with me? Did you give him drugs? Like, just tell me and we can figure this out legally, you know? And Mia’s like, Oh, sure. Like, you’ve been honest with me. He’s like, what do you mean? And she says, There’s something you haven’t told me about Mom, isn’t there? And he kind of blanches and doesn’t respond. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Mia storms her room and opens her bag. Alison, she has taken the hand home. And the implication is they don’t know that she took it. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Like in the kerfuffle in the in the calamity, she just kind of grabbed it. We at the hospital see Jade, Sue and Daniel at Riley’s bedside. So he is alive. He’s in a coma. He’s been in a coma for two days. Okay. And Mia comes to say hi. And Sue, of course, because that’s where Sue’s at, flips out on her. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. And understandable. 


Halle Kiefer: I, having seen the trailer. Sophie Wilde is a Black woman and is the not the only person of color in the movie, but is a Black girl and then within a white family. Right. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s like there’s a white family. And so when Sue, when Sue accuses her of giving Riley drugs, it feels racist because it’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, this girl, she’s in your home. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, there’s an implication like, oh, Sophie tried weed once, and now Sue’s, like, spiraling. But it’s like you really. You turned on this girl who has been through something traumatizing and just assumed. 


Alison Leiby: Jumping right to. 


Halle Kiefer: Rather than, like, also like your daughter couldn’t have given him drugs or his gross friend or the other people, like just—


Alison Leiby: Any other person. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And so, of course, now Mia is not only, like isolated from her father, but now isolated from this other sort of family that she has this relationship with. And Sue says, what did my son ever do to you? It’s like, what do you like when she gave him PCP? Like, what do you even think? Could she have given him where this would be the outcome? Right. He’ll say you fell off an airplane. So, of course, Sue says, go home and Mia devastated is like, Oh, great, I’ve lost my best friends and their mom hates me. And as she walks down the hallway, she turns and looks into the glass of a hospital room and she sees the figure of her mother. And she turns. And in real life, the figure isn’t there. But when she looks at the glass, she could follow where the the mom is going into the restroom. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, she goes to the restroom and she hears her mother calling from inside the stall. But mirroring her father’s experience, when she goes to open the stall, she can’t open it. So she’s just panicking and trying to open the stall door. And finally she’s, like able to wedge it open. There’s nothing in there. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: And she emerges crying right as Daniel’s leaving and Daniel drives her home. And Daniel said that he actually, like, he’s the only one who’s not in trouble, because he’s 18. So the cops didn’t call his parents, he would get in trouble if they proved that something happened. Like if they think that they beat up Riley or something. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So he has to like the cops are so sort of circling, like, don’t know really what happened. But he’s like, I lied to my parents and said I was like, staying over somewhere. So I don’t really have anywhere to stay tonight. And Mia says, you can come stay in my place. And Daniel does get the vibe and there is a vibe that Mia probably does have a crush on him. Like it didn’t seem like she would actually act on it, but. 


Alison Leiby: But it’s there and. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, and he says, like, I don’t know if it’s weird because of Jade, you know, And Mia says, We’re just friends. Like, it’s totally fine. And I’ll be honest, I don’t want to be alone. So back at Mia’s house again. Her father presumably also putting in during the midnight shift at the carabiner factory. And so, Mia, now there’s another person there, and she has the hand says, You know, my mom really wanted to talk to me. What if we did it again? So basically asking Daniel to do talk to me. 


Alison Leiby: Again. 


Halle Kiefer: So that she could speak to her mother. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And Daniel says, I’m not fucking doing that again. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right. Like we saw what happened. Like.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Riley’s in a fucking coma. We don’t even know if he’s going to lose his eye. Like, we’re. I’m not doing that. And Daniel then makes a larger point, which we were going to have to grapple with in this film, which is, How do we know that was really your mother? How do we know that these when something invades like possesses us? How do we know these things can’t read our memories or thoughts? Maybe it just like found out. 


Alison Leiby: Manipulative in a certain way, as opposed to just like an actual, quote unquote, “interaction” that she could be having. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And so it’s sort of like but obviously Mia’s driven by the fact that like, oh, if it is my mother, I desperately want to talk to her from beyond the grave, which is understandable. 


Alison Leiby: Understandable. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And they have a moment where, you know, she’s like, remember when, we held hands that one time and my hands were so much bigger than yours. And they compare hand sizes and again and for a moment like their fingertips touch and then Daniel again being uber Christian like pulls his hand away and they go to bed. But to be appropriate, they sleep head to foot. So, like, if there’s no like, I’d be like, guess you could have sex that way. But like, there’s no funny business going on. 


Alison Leiby: So there’s a Seinfeld where Elaine justifies sharing a bed with a man where she’s like, We stood head to toe, so it’s fine. And Jerry goes, But your genitals still lined up. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s what humanity is a funny a funny creature I’ll tell you what. So they go to bed and Daniel falls asleep because they’ve had a terrible day. But Mia stays up and she has videos of her mom and her on her phone. And her mom is like. They’re goofing off and they’re like telling jokes and stuff and it’s really sweet. And so obviously she’s going to try to talk to her mother through the hand right.


Alison Leiby: And I get it right. Like I wouldn’t do it, but I understand it. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Meanwhile, poor Jade is like dealing with Sue. And you know Sue is on edge most of the time but she’s not handling this well.


Alison Leiby: Sue has to be off a cliff at this point. No carabiner insight. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Oh, yeah. Plummeting off that cliff. And so Jade goes to find her mom. Who’s. It’s torrentially raining so her mom is smoking inside the car. And when Jade gets in the car, she reaches for her mom’s hand and her mom jerks it away. And it’s like, okay, well, that’s the only way to make this worse is like, now we’re alienated from each other. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. Meanwhile, Mia’s obviously drifted into asleep, and we see this like she and Daniel standing in a in a brightly lit room, and they kiss like. And we. That’s how we know it’s a dream. It’s like she wouldn’t. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And in in their dream they kiss and then they hug. And in the background of the dream, we hear really faintly audio of her father screaming and pounding on the bedroom door. So obviously, this is something that haunts her, like hearing her father trying to wedge open his bedroom door to find his wife. Right. And of course, it would like that would if you heard that, you would stay with you forever. Right. And she turns and it’s we’re seeing what she saw on the day that he found her mother dead. And he’s dragging his wife, whose name is Rhea, the mom’s, which I didn’t realize until then. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And drags her out of the bedroom, you know, to try to help her. But she’s already dead and she already looks dead and, like, probably died hours earlier. And we see Mia wake up with a start in there in the actual bed. Daniel’s there asleep and we see a figure crouched in the corner of the room, Alison, on all fours. And the figure starts to crawl towards her. And it’s a woman. And, you know she’s not alive. 


Alison Leiby: No, of course not. Why would she be? 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s wearing like a slip and pearls, which I kind of like this look and her hair is falling out and her face is filthy and bleeding, and she’s kind of all wet, as if she’s crawled out of a grave. 


Alison Leiby: It’s less fun. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. Unexpected twist I didn’t see coming. The woman crawls over the bed and starts sucking on Daniel’s toes. Her foot fetish lasted from beyond the grave. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s got to get those feet in the mouth. 


Alison Leiby: Get those feet in that mouth. 


Halle Kiefer: And look, we’ve all been there, but the person has to be awake and consenting. 


Alison Leiby: Correct. 


Halle Kiefer: Whether you’re dead or alive. And so of course Mia screams for Daniel to wake up. And when he does, he sees it’s Mia sucking on his toes and she drops his foot and she’s like, Oh my God, they followed us. The things they that we let in, they one of them was sucking your toes. And he’s like, Mia, that was you. I saw you. And she’s like, This is fucked up. Like, I don’t know what this was. And he storms out. So now Mia’s truly alone. And obviously he’s gonna tell Jade that she was sucking on his toes.


Alison Leiby: Right. And also is like blaming it on demons. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So. 


Alison Leiby: The dead or whatever. 


Halle Kiefer: And look and who hasn’t been sucking on toes and been like I think a demon is involved. 


Alison Leiby: Yes absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s we see poor Mia, like slapping herself and, like, punching herself in the face. Like, kind of punch. Like punishing yourself, like pounding on her bedroom door. Alison, she takes out the hand and she does talk to me alone with no one there to time her. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And when she does, her mother appears. And Mia asks her, Mom, did you kill yourself? And Rhea says. No, it was an accident. I really wouldn’t. I would never leave you voluntarily. And she tells Mia, Riley needs your help. And they lay down in bed and her mom’s sort of spoons her. Over at the hospital. We see poor Riley, who is like, incommunicado, like is not responsive. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s getting Jade and Sue are sort of learning how to give him a sponge bath. And the idea is like this would potentially be permanent. Like he this may be a permanent brain injury. So they’re sort of learning how to take care of him. Sue gets a call from her husband, who I presume is divorced or is a traveling carabiner salesman and so isn’t around a lot. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: Maybe their dad is Sidney’s dad from Scream—


Alison Leiby: Wouldn’t that be the crossover of the century? 


Halle Kiefer: And it would make sense time wise. You’d have to have to have a second family in Australia—


Alison Leiby: He would need to be gone for long stretches of time? With no explanation whatsoever? 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. So Sue leaves to go take a call from their dad. As soon as she goes, Riley bites Jade in the hand and then sort of falls off his shower chair and starts smashing his head back against the tile of the shower, which is just  shattering. And, of course, his sister’s trying to stop him. There’s blood gushing all over the tile. And as the blood starts to run into the drain, he starts drinking the bloody water. 


Alison Leiby: Nope. Nope. 


Halle Kiefer: Like lapping it up and laughing and laughing. 


Alison Leiby: No, we don’t need to add laughing into the mix here. 


Halle Kiefer: And Jade, of course, screaming. Her mother runs back in. And as they look, he just laughs and starts drinking his own blood off the floor. These goddamn kids with their their ad—


Alison Leiby: Blood drinking giggles. 


Halle Kiefer: Talk to me parties, make drinking their own blood. And my question to you Alison is, who will survive? 


[voice over]: Who will survive? 


Alison Leiby: I think not, Riley. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. And what about Mia? How do we feel about Mia? 


Alison Leiby: And Mia, I think very like it will seem like she won’t make it, but she will end up like something will happen that like, pulls her out of—


Halle Kiefer: The jaws of death?


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: They’ll pull like the she’s the foot. It will be pulled out of the jaws of death. 


Alison Leiby: [slurps] Yep. 


Halle Kiefer: And what about Jade Riley’s sister? 


Alison Leiby: Jade will survive. 


Halle Kiefer: Ah, great. What about Sue the mom? 


Alison Leiby: I think Sue might die, but, like, just from, like, a stress heart attack. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Right yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Like, unrelated to, like, physical events of what’s happening, but more just like the emotional duress that she’s been under clearly for decades. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, it’s she’s going to have a a nicotine overdose by the end of this. And how do we feel about Max, Mia’s dad? 


Alison Leiby: Am. I think Mia might kill him. I think he might be the reason her mom died. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. And then Daniel, the ultra Christian boyfriend of Jade, who’s again, foot was in Mia’s mouth. And when I’m not a practicing Christian. But I do think you have to get married. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, probably. I think he’ll die. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. 




Halle Kiefer: All right. So the rest of the gang meets up to sort of be like, So what the fuck are we going to be doing about the hand? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah the hand is a problem. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. The hand continue to be a problem. Mia gives the hand back to Joss. Who? They didn’t. He didn’t know who had it. Nobody knew who had picked it up. Right? So basically, we find out that James, Riley’s friend gave a video of the event of Riley’s possession to the police. And the police have basically, like, no one was touching him. He did this to himself. So we’re not going to charge any of you. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: He had some sort of psychotic break or like, you know what I mean, like there was nothing we could charge you with. Nobody was doing it. You were all we’ve all seen the video. You were trying to stop him. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So that at least resolves the legal ramifications. And they say, Jade, like, well, how’s Riley doing in the hospital? It’s like, well, every time he comes to he tries to kill himself. So I would say not good. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s a bad bad set up. 


Halle Kiefer: And Mia. Yeah. And Mia at least finally is like. And while we’re at it, has anyone been seeing things? Because she has seen her mother multiple times and then did talk, did talk to me alone. And Hayley says, well, I haven’t, but Duckett did. And Mia says, Who the fuck is Duckett? Because nobody else knows about that. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Except for we know because we saw at the beginning of the movie and Joss says well, you know the guy who we got the hand from? Well, yeah, it turns out that he was seeing them without the hand. And then he did go full, they describe it as full schiz. It’s like he did go full schiz and he did kill himself and did kill stab his brother. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Mia says so is the brother alive? And can we talk to him? And they say, you know what he is. Which I was like, that’s very smart. Like, let’s trace it back.  


Alison Leiby: Yeah go talk to him. Get somebody to get some information. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Which is very it follows is like, okay, so who can we talk to who who knows this. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Now Cole is furious basically, and was like, you knew about this. And so the implication is that Joss and Hayley like were friends with Duckett but just like from partying and Cole’s like he thought that you were his friends and then you sort of like when this happened, just took the hand and didn’t fucking deal with like the ramifications. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And brought it to other people. Like, what the fuck is wrong with you? 


Alison Leiby: Why would you do that? 


Halle Kiefer: And Cole, they meet at a bus stop and Cole gets on the bus. So everyone kind of like follows him on the bus. And I think it’s just to have a different set piece. I thought it was fun. And they follow him and Mia tries to talk to him about they tell him about Riley. And Jade says, Well, so what are we supposed to do? I mean, like if he’s possessed or like, if he’s like this, what the fuck are we going to do? Because the implication is if you die after, if you’re like, if you’re possessed and you die, that’s it. Like you, your soul has been taken to wherever these these things live. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: You don’t get a natural death in the way that like, if you were. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Like if Cole had died, he would have just died. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: The idea that Duckett died while possessed it. The implication. 


Alison Leiby: It’s something else. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s something else. Which is terrifying to think about. Worse than death. No, but he says the thing is, if he doesn’t die, the longer the spirit’s in him, the. The weaker it will become. So he actually can survive. He just has to survive long enough for the spirit to not kill him. But Jade’s point is he’s trying. It’s trying to kill him. And he’s so weak. At any point in time, if we’re not watching him, he could die. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: So what the fuck, what are the other options? 


Alison Leiby: But it’s like how do you get the spirit out? 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Like I don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly how do you get it out? And so Mia, they’re all brainstorming Mia’s like okay, did we not blow out the candle? Was that it like because it was such that like it was everyone was panicked when Riley was possessed. So maybe we never closed it out. 


Alison Leiby: And not the candle. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. And so and no one can remember. Right. So then her suggestion is they want Riley to do talk to me again so they could close him out like the cash register at the end of the night. 


Alison Leiby: It’s like, not like what? Is it going to get worse? Like. You know.


Halle Kiefer: I mean yeah, at this point. Exactly. And like he’s basically like in a demon coma that he occasionally comes out of to try to kill himself. Like. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Let’s, let’s throw spaghetti at the wall at this point. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Like, if it happens to work then it’s a win. And if it doesn’t like I don’t know what’s worse than the scenario they’re in currently. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And so Jade’s furious at Mia and blaming Mia for allowing Riley to do the hand, which I get. And she basically says, I regret ever letting you inside my family, which, of course, because of Mia’s family trauma is the meanest thing you can say to her. And she’s trying to cope with obviously she made a mistake, but she is a teenage girl like we people make mistakes, Jade, come on. And so in the end, Jade relents because like you said, what the fuck else do you get to do? Right? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So Joss gives Mia the hand back and Hayley and Joss are basically like, whenever you’re done with it, burn it. We’re out. 


Alison Leiby: Destroy it. 


Halle Kiefer: Good. Good luck to you. 


Alison Leiby: Throw if off a cliff. 


Halle Kiefer: You are no longer. Throw it in the fucking garbage. So, Mia, Jade and Daniel go to the hospital to figure out if they could. Have Riley do it again. And Mia keeps getting calls from her father, who is obviously like, What the fuck is happening? Where did you go? Because this just happened. Like, you know, you want, you want to be monitoring your child after a distressing thing, right? And Jade, I wrote, Oh, my mom will be back in an hour. And I said from the carabiner cruise the cruise line exclusive to the carabiner industry.


Alison Leiby: Oh yes of course. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: But they have a month. Oh, sorry. They have a month. A month of Sundays, they have an hour before Sue will arrive back at the hospital to watch Riley. So they light a candle and Mia tries to hold the hand on Riley’s hand. Riley is in a coma. It doesn’t work. So she’s trying to say, Talk to him. But Riley’s not awake. You have to be awake. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah you have to—


Halle Kiefer: And ask it. Yeah. And so Mia says, What if I do it? And then I try to talk to his spirit like I enter. If it enters me, maybe I could enter the spirit realm. 


Alison Leiby: Okay I mean. It it can get bad because she can just end up exactly where he is, but it’s at least worth a shot. I guess. 


Halle Kiefer: Worth a shot. And Jade and Daniel say, don’t do that. And so Mia of course does it anyways. 


Alison Leiby: Yep. 


Halle Kiefer: And instead of Daniel’s spirit, because maybe she’s like, you know, like he’s not dead, but like, maybe if he’s on some sort of realm, if he is possessed, like maybe his spirit’s there. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Instead of Daniel she see’s a little girl who is in pajamas. I think the implication is like this was also a child who died in this hospital or like, you know, there’s some something about the location that there’s a little girl. And she said, Do you know where Daniel is? And the girl says. 


[clip of Ava Stenta]: I can take you to him.


[clip of Sophie Wilde]: Okay. 


[clip of Ava Stenta]: I let you in. 


Halle Kiefer: So now Mia’s soul is been put into this little ghost girl, right? Unfortunately, what is then shown to her is a society shunting level what I would describe as a blood orgy of violence in which Riley is being pulled apart. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s giving, shunting, but not sexy. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And we only see it’s a really. 


Alison Leiby: The unsexy shunt. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Which, I mean. Yeah, but it’s like we only see glimpses of it. We see someone bite into a baby. So I think the idea is, like, Daniel’s spirit is currently causing some sort of demon realm. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] I’m sorry. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s just, no it’s just about the worst thing. It’s like, where’s my friend? 


Alison Leiby: Got it. 


Halle Kiefer: Uh oh he’s hanging out with these folks. 


Alison Leiby: Nowhere good. 


Halle Kiefer: And so she comes up, they pull her out, they time before 90 seconds and she comes out of the talk to me. And is like they’ll never stop. They have him and they’ll never stop torturing him. Which Jade his sister doesn’t appreciate hearing. It’s like, okay, well, then what? What are we going to do? Alison. As if things couldn’t get more stressful for Mia. She goes home and her dad, Max, is waiting there and he says, I have an apology and I want to talk to you about something. And he tells her, I’ve been keeping something from you for two years. 


Alison Leiby: No, no, no. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s her mother’s suicide note. Oh. Basically says, you know. Max and Mia, it’s Tuesday again. It’s raining. It’s the first time in a long time where I haven’t felt hopeless as a fact. I’m full of hope. And she goes on to say, I hope you do find it in your heart to forgive me. I hope we can find some peace knowing I’m no longer in pain. Mia, I’m sorry. So Mia freaks out and was like, No, that can’t be her. She told me that she didn’t do it. She told me it was an accident. But of course her dad just assumes. You mean like, spiritually. You’re like. You mean like not. I saw her go—


Alison Leiby: Right and we talked. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, exactly. But she’s like, I’m sorry. She’s gone. And Mia’s, like, you know, panicking. And as they hug, Mia sees an apparition of her mother who says it’s not true. I didn’t kill myself. In the. In Mia’s bedroom, she talks to the dead ghost of her mother, who appears to her. And the mother tells her that’s not your dad. They’re imitating him. They’re going to hurt you. And this is where we tip over into a who. What is real? Who’s imitating who? And, of course. Is this really her mother? And. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Every time we see her mother, she is more and more decayed. So by this point, Rhea, the ghost of Rhea, has full milk eyes. 


Alison Leiby: Milk eyes. 


Halle Kiefer: Soft serve eyes, her skin is starting to rot off. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And Rhea tells her daughter, You have to put Riley out of his misery. If you kill him, he’ll be at peace. Right now, he is locked forever in this state. Basically she’s like he’ll belong to that which he invited in. And her dad starts banging on a door again, repeating the, you know, the the sonic and and existential refrain of somebody banging on the door. And it’s like, let me in. Do not lock your door. Now he’s panicking. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, of course. 


Halle Kiefer: I told this extremely distressing thing to my daughter. 


Alison Leiby: And now I, like, need to make sure she’s okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, completely understandable. Alison, when he busts in his face is all scarred. It’s the ghost version of her father. Meanwhile, the her actual dad is in the living room and hears Mia starts screaming. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So the fake dad, we could tell, has sort of a rotting, scarred up face. 


Alison Leiby: Ghosty vibe. 


Halle Kiefer: And attacks Mia and, like, throws her across the room, like, knocks all this stuff off her desk and then puts on the floor and starts choking her out. And you see, this is why Duckett ended up killing his own brother. Like we remember, Duckett at the beginning says, Pop says you’re going to hurt a lot of people. You’re not really him. So I think it’s like we’re setting up. It’s like now Mia’s seeing doubles and it’s going be unclear who’s doing what. Her fake dad’s choking her out. Now, her real actual dad is pounding on the actual door. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And busts in right as Mia is able to reach over and grab a pair of scissors and she turns to stab the fake dad and stabs her actual father in the neck.


Alison Leiby: Oh, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And we hear his body drop to the ground. At the hospital. Jade’s there waiting and gets a call from Mia. And Jade said, actually, he is doing a little bit better. He’s woken up a couple times and he was fine. He was very. 


Alison Leiby: Like normal person. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s normal. Yeah. And he has a long road ahead of him. But he it seems like things like like Cole said, it seems like things are getting better. But Mia is basically like, no, I saw him in that shadow realm. I saw him in the baby eating orgy. Every second he’s experiencing is pain and she’s like, Jade’s like I don’t know, like remember what Cole said and Mia says, Come to my house and I’ll show you. And Mia has the hand there. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Jade says, All right, I’ll be there in ten minutes. I’ll, you know, let me come over there. Of course, when Jade leaves a parking lot, we realize that Mia’s actually been calling from the hospital parking lot to get Jade out of Riley’s hospital room. 


Alison Leiby: So that she can go. 


Halle Kiefer: Put him out of his misery. Much like the wounded kangaroo in the first act. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: So Jade leaves to go to be his house and Mia goes into the hospital and runs into Sue. And Sue says, I want to apologize because they did a drug screening on Riley and there were no drugs in his system. He just had some sort of psychotic break. And I was in denial. And I. You weren’t just like my children’s friend, your family. And I’m so sorry that I leapt to that conclusion, which is very nice. But I’ll be honest, late in the game. 


Alison Leiby: Little too late. And if that had been it from the beginning, perhaps we could have. 


Halle Kiefer: Figured something out. 


Alison Leiby: Maybe avoided what’s about to happen. 


Halle Kiefer: And Mia basically uses that moment to be like, That’s. Thank you. Is there any way I can have a moment alone with him? And we see that she has the scissors that she took from home that she stabbed her dad with. Yeah, obviously. So Jade arrives at Mia’s house, tries to call her back. She’s not answering, and tries, starts to go to try to get in the house right at the hospital. Mia looks down at Riley and says, I’m sorry, I have to do this, but when she looks at Riley, he is essentially, I think we’re the spirit that possessed him. He’s like an elderly man who is dead and has milky eyes and is sort of taunting her, you know, about what to do. And she raises the scissors, but she can’t do it, which is understandable. It’s like even if this is some ghost of a creepy man, it’s hard to stab someone with a pair of scissors with forethought, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s tough. 


Halle Kiefer: And so she turns and she sees the image of the dying kangaroo from the first act. And she is convinced through this that she has to put Riley out of his misery this is what her mother said. And she is, like, committed to this idea. Right back at her house, Jade enters and finds Max, Mia’s dad, who is horribly wounded but still alive. And she calls 911 and then she immediately calls Sue and says, I’m with Mia’s dad. You got to get her the fuck out of Riley’s room. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: Sue runs back to Riley’s room. Both he and Mia are gone. And as Jade pulls back into the parking lot, we see Mia pushing Riley in a wheelchair to the hill overlooking the freeway. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: I was, like, being stabbed with scissors. Sounds horrible. To be pushed. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Onto the freeway. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Also it’s like that’s not an instant death. Like, it’s like there’s a lot of, like, easier, quicker ways to die. You’re going to dump him on a highway in hopes someone runs him over? 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: But again, Mia is a woman with a mission. And so Jade parks and is running down the hill. We see Mia like pushing Riley down the hill. And they got a like a little bit of a curb and they’re right under an overpass. So this is not like people can’t see it. So it’s not like a stretch of road where people would be able to stop. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re coming around a curve. I don’t know if it’s a on ramp or an off ramp, but basically they’re coming round a curve. So if she dumps Riley out, someone’s going to hit him. 


Alison Leiby: Someone, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And so Jade is on top of the hill screaming, trying to chase him. And we see from Mia’s perspective, she’s wheeling Riley down the hill and gets to the bottom of the hill right on the road. And he’s still an old, weird man. She’s not seeing Riley as he is. And then the ghost of her mother stands behind Mia and puts her hands. And we see her shredded nails on Mia’s shoulder and says, I am so proud of you. You’re doing the right thing. Do this and we’ll have him forever. And of course, we as the audience know, we is not you don’t want we to have him. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: But again, if we’re if Mia’s thinking, this is my mother, he’ll be safe. We see from the perspective of a couple cars back, something flies in front of a truck and the truck veers and then the car that we’re in veers off the road and hits a tree. And when we cut to like a sort of an overview of the road, it’s not Riley’s body. We see. It’s Mia. Mia has leapt into traffic. Rather than kill Riley, she has killed herself. But Alison, unfortunately, it is not over yet because we see Mia wake up and she sees Jade holding Riley like they’re both safe on the curb and she finds herself back in the hospital. And it’s sometime later because he’s. She sees that Riley’s getting discharged and his, like, face is healed, you know, and he’s finally getting out. And she sees her father walking from their room down the hallway to the elevator. And Alison she’s calling, but no one could hear and she can’t catch up to him. And slowly behind her, in the hospital, different rooms, all the lights start to go out. And she looks into a mirror and she doesn’t have a reflection, much like her reoccurring nightmare. And when she looks down, all of her fingers are broken. Like her hands were run over. And we see Max get into the elevator. Which I took to mean that this is literal. And he did survive. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: He enters the elevator with the doors closed, and as he does, the last light goes out in the elevator, plunging Mia into darkness. And she is truly alone until she sees in the distance somebody light a candle and she goes to it. And as she approaches, she sees a hand reach out over it, and she takes the hand. And suddenly she’s sitting across from a guy at a party in Greece and. 


Alison Leiby: Hand made it to Greece?


Halle Kiefer: The hand made it to Greece. But the guy says in English, I let you in and Mia gasps. And the implication is like she is now going to enter this body. The end. 


Alison Leiby: Whoa. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I really like the ending. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s obviously a very downbeat ending, but I think to pull the punch— 


Alison Leiby: It’s the right ending.


Halle Kiefer: This is the right ending. Yeah, because you do feel bad and I’m like, this narratively is where we had to go. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, we can’t be like, anyway. And then everybody was fine. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. 


Alison Leiby: Like you know. 


Halle Kiefer: And which I hate to. I again, you know, I’m, you know, I’m a sour Sue, but it makes you think of like. 


Alison Leiby: Sour Sue.


Halle Kiefer: Scream six where it’s like, don’t worry. All the all your favorite, favorite characters are still alive. It’s like, well, some of them should have died.


Alison Leiby: Some of them should’ve died. That’s the point of this kind of movie. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, what are some fatal mistakes you think someone has made in the movie? Talk to Me?


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: Playing the hand game. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Number one with the bullet playing. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Talking to that hand, doing any of that stuff. 


Alison Leiby: And then also, like, not like once things were like, whoa, this is kind of like to not like. Bring up like, Oh, well, the last guy who did it, who we got it from, like killed his brother and then himself, like that is like a big piece of information that, like, it would be one thing if no one knew that. But people did know that. And. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: For that not to be disclosed and for leave to have gone on as long and for as much to have happened before it got disclosed really feels bad. 


Halle Kiefer: 100%. And I do feel like the tone was really perfect because there was a level of believability in how stupid and young the teens are. You know, like I feel like sometimes, you know, we see a movie, Scream being an example. It’s like, well, these are 30 year old’s and they’re acting. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Mostly coherently. And this was a good example of like, these are 16 and 14 year old’s who are just like, I don’t know, somebody gave me it and we are going to do it. And because they play it really realistically, but scarier and two, it’s like, yeah, there is some dumb ass who would do this and not ask what is this? Or how is this possible? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Or what happens, you know? And in that way it’s sort of like The Ring or it follows where it’s just sort of like just it we’re we’re teens. We’re just we’re just going to put it. 


Alison Leiby: Doing dumb shit. 


Halle Kiefer: We’re going to put in the tape. We’re going to fuck each other. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And then even knowing that there’s a demon and, you know, I also do see  it follows there’s going be a sequel. 


Alison Leiby: I did. Obviously, we will be doing that when it comes out. 


Halle Kiefer: So I yeah I would say the main flaw was of course doing the talk to me. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Other than that I feel like people were coming they were coming up with ideas. Like everyone’s like, okay we got to— 


Alison Leiby: Reacting. Trying to find solutions. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And then finally, where would you please Talk to Me on the spooky scale Alison? 


Alison Leiby: A spooky scale. 


Alison Leiby: I’m going to give this a six and a half. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, okay, great. 


Alison Leiby: I feel like there’s a lot of scary here. And, like, part of that is because stuff is unknown, but then, like, some like it kind of not being explained at times. Like sometimes that’s scarier, but sometimes I’m like, Oh, I feel like a little more information would have made this a little scarier. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I agree with that. I would say I’m going to give it a six. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I feel I really enjoyed it as a film 10/10 enjoyment. I really appreciated it. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, but I really enjoyed it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But I think that there is I think once we introduce the ghost of the mother, I think it was less scary to me and more interesting as a drama you know, especially as like a story about trauma. 


Alison Leiby: Trauma. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, like in a way that again, I don’t just because it’s Australian doesn’t mean I have to compare to The Babadook and yet as a—


Alison Leiby: And yet we are comparing it to The Babadook. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I feel like that movie to me was consistently scary because I really genuinely thought like, I never felt like, Oh, Mia’s like a really a danger. Whereas I think the Babadook is like, that mom could kill that kid. In a second. You know.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Like there was a little too much safety and coherence to be really scary. But as a drama that is about this horrible thing that happened to like a teenager and how you deal with it and how that would make you susceptible to, you know, the influence of a lot of different things. I really enjoyed it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But but not but not super spooky. But then again the possession moments were really well done. I love the black eyes. 


Alison Leiby: It’s a sad dark ending. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And again, the ending that had. It had to have had. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. That was the right ending.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, yeah. Well, guys, we hope you enjoyed that. I know we did. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s a good one. And join us all month for more fun parties that we’re going to see what happens at them. 


Halle Kiefer: And we hope you are having we hope you had a good Thanksgiving. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: We hope you have a good November. See you at five. We’re going running. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Please bring your three legged coyote. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And until next time, please. 


Alison Leiby: Keep it spooky. 


Halle Kiefer: Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcasts and Crooked Media for show updates. And if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production, we’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. The show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy, and Ewa Okulate.