Fans of Danny and Michael Philippou are in for a big scare. The Australian twins, known as the creators of the RackaRacka YouTube channel, have inked a distribution deal for their feature film Talk To Me. The horror flick premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will receive a theatrical run thanks to A24.
Talk To Me stars Sophia Wilde as a teenager who grapples with haunted visions after attempting to speak with her mother during a séance. The supporting cast features a number of actors who hail from RackaRacka’s home country, including Miranda Otto of Lord of the Rings fame.
Danny Philippou wrote the Talk To Me scripted with Bill Hinzman and helmed the film alongside his twin brother. Audiences got their first look at the picture during Sundance, where Talk To Me was part of the Midnight Selections lineup. A24 then swooped in for a deal The Hollywood Reporter described as “high seven figures.” The indie distributor is well-known for its work in the horror genre. Its previous releases include cult favorites like Green Room and recent breakouts like Pearl.
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A horror film is a fitting career move for a pair of creators who built their double-talk name on a chaotic brand of content. RackaRacka videos are defined by their fast-paced scripting, haphazard situations, and cultural commentary. That formula has brought 6.7 million subscribers and more than 1.1 billion lifetime views to the Philippous’ joint account. RackaRacka also earned a Streamy Award nomination in 2019.
The Philippou twins aren’t the first online video stars to get a theatrical run for a feature film. “Mystery Guitar Man” Joe Penna pulled off that feat after bringing his far-north thriller Arctic to the Cannes Film Festival in 2018.
A24 has shown particular interest in projects led by digital natives. It was the distributor for Bo Burnham‘s Eighth Grade, which commented on social media use among teens. The Dean Fleischer-Camp/Jenny Slate joint Marcel the Shell with Shoes On got an A24 deal a decade after it premiered on Vimeo. It is now up for Best Animated Film at the 2023 Academy Awards.