Peter Jackson is urging fans to see a new ‘relentlessly scary and disturbing’ horror film, which may have some similarities to one of The Lord of the Rings director’s own films.

Peter Jackson is known the world over for his role in bringing J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings to the big screen, as well as the high fantasy children’s novel, The Hobbit. However, Jackson’s first love was horror, when he honed his skills directing and writing horror flicks. Now, a new horror movie has caught his attention, and he’s given it some high praise indeed.

Lord of the Rings director urges fans to see ‘intense’ new horror movie

Jackson is the latest high profile director to heap praise on Talk to Me, the new A24 horror movie from sibling filmmakers Danny and Michael Philippou, which released in the UK on 28 July, 2023. The Lord of the Rings Oscar winner issued a statement calling the movie one of the best horror efforts he’d seen in recent years.

“It’s relentlessly scary and disturbing – in the best possible way,” Jackson said. “Talk To Me isn’t just good – it’s very, very good. The best, most intense, horror movie I’ve enjoyed in year.”

Talk to Me is the directorial debut of YouTube stars Danny and Michael Philippou, and follows a group of Aussie teens who discover how to conjure spirits using a mysterious embalmed hand. The film stars Sophie Wilde as Mia, with the story taking a turn when Mia’s late mother reaches out from the dead.

Talk To Me has already earned $31m (£24m) in the US box office, and according to Variety, is guaranteed to end its box office run as one of A24’s top five highest-grossing films domestically.

Jackson is somewhat of an authority on horror films

The Lord of the Rings director cut his teeth making gory independent horror films before turning his attention to the Middle Earth, so he’s definitely an authority on what makes a good horror flick.

His first feature film, Bad Taste, is a slapstick horror comedy where aliens invade a village in order to harvest humans for their intergalactic restaurant.

Five years later, in 1992, he directed and co-wrote the zombie comedy Braindead, which follows a young man living in South Wellington whose strict mother gets bitten by a hybrid Sumatran rat-monkey and begins to transform into a zombie. He has also directed supernatural comedy horror The Frighteners (1996), which tells the story of an architect who practices necromancy to develop psychic abilities which allow him to see, hear, and communicate with ghosts after his wife’s murder.

Premiere Of New Line Cinema, MGM Pictures And Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies" - Red Carpet
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Lord of the Rings trilogy has some underrated horror moments

Evidently, horror has always been close to Jackson’s heart, and while The Lord of the Rings trilogy is hardly The Exorcist, it certainly has scary elements throughout. The Uruk Hai (especially Lurtz) and Orcs of the original trilogy are extremely creepy, as are the hooded Nazgûl, who are terrifying every time they appear on screen.

That’s not to mention the scene in the Fellowship of the Ring when Galadriel appears briefly as a dark and menacing figure when she’s tempted by the Ring. Or perhaps the jumpiest moment of the whole trilogy with Bilbo’s infamous jump scare, when he sees the Ring one more time and briefly transforms into a demonic goblin creature.

And, of course, there’s the Army of the Dead in Return of the King, which doesn’t sounds too dissimilar to A24’s Talk to Me. Conjuring spirits? Talking to the dead? Let’s hope for the sake of the Aussie teens they have the same happy ending as the Fellowship did in The Lord of the Rings.

Although something tells us they probably won’t…

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