in

Death of Me

***
2020

‘…no ground-breaker, but horror fans will find that this well-made shocker delivers just enough in nasty shocks and foreboding atmosphere…’

A friend was talking about expectations of seeing seeing a low budget film, and commented ‘I’d expect, at least, a Hemsworth’; Chris, Luke or Liam, all flavours of Hemsworth are available for your viewing pleasure, and this time around it’s Luke, matched up with Maggie Q for Darren Lynn Bousman’s derivative but effective horror/thriller. If, like me, you felt that Midsommar would have worked better at half the length, then Death of Me’s brisk 94 minutes gets you through most of the same plot points but with a lot less in the way of pretention, and that’s reason enough to give it a spin.

Christine and Neil (Maggie Q and Luke Hemsworth) are two tourists on something they call a ‘vacation’ on a small island off Thailand; there’s a storm coming, but the locals are unperturbed, mainly because they haven’t felt the impact of one for 200 years. The couple do shots in a busy bar on their last night on the island, and she’s given a necklace as a gift; the next morning they wake up in disarray. What happened the night before is a mystery, doubled when footage on her phone reveals Neil murdering Christine…

I’m no great fan of Bousman, a horror director best known for his work on the Saw franchise, but he brings a high gloss to proceedings, which progress much as you’d expect. Anxiety, distrust and panic give way to a realisation that pretty much everyone the couple meet have got nefarious plans for them, in a manner that harks back to the Wicker Man’s human sacrifice. Along the way there’s two or three moments of ‘look away’ gore, including a live disembowelling that would put you off your dinner. But Hemsworth does well with an under-written role, and Maggie Q diggers deeper than might have been required to convey Christine’s horror at her sudden sense of jeopardy.

From 2006’s Turistas/Paradise Lost to Hostel, the ‘white people abroad as prey’ trope is a familiar one, and picks up on our latent casual racism towards cultures that we don’t understand. It’s a grubby but effective strategy that takes our fear of ‘the other’ and applies it specifically to other cultures. Death of Me is no ground-breaker, but horror fans will find that this well-made shocker delivers just enough in nasty shocks and foreboding atmosphere.

Thanks to Signature Entertainment for access to this title.

Signature Entertainment presents Death of Me on Digital HD and DVD in the UK from November 23rd

Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. I have not been familiar with this particular title, although I have to admit that I think Saw #1 is one of the best movies I have seen in the horror / psychological thriller genre. It slid down hill fast after #1 that which is just because the bar was set so high in the beginning – to top it you would have to spike originality back into the main premise, which a lot of sequel directors fail to do and instead spin the existing elements. Think about it – new ninja turles movies vs the original live action. Cheers!

    • Yup, I’m finding lots of love around for the first Saw movie, but the sequels seem to fall away. But I guess it’s a big deal for a director to be associated with a popular franchise, even if the first film is usually the best of the bunch. Cheers for the comment!

  2. Besides the graphic disemboweling, any movie made by the guy who did a bunch of the SAW movies is definitely off my list.
    While I don’t do horror anyway, graphic gore seems like something that should have its own subgenre. And I wouldn’t do that subgenre either 🙂

  3. I first saw Maggie Q in the Hong Kong movie Naked Weapon. She was great in that one, and since then she seems to appear everywhere, like in the remake of the Nikita TV series where she was really awesome.
    That said, I’ve become a bit of a fan of her, and I do have to say that I’m interested in seeing this one! It sounds like a film that’s just down my street so to speak 😊Probably will be another one that’s hard to find for me, but eh!
    As for the Saw franchise, it’s a guilty pleasure series for me, but the first one though: that was really a very good film. That ending!! 😮😮😮

    • You’ll like this, Maggie Q is awesome and sparks this one into life; there’s some discussion of free will, but there comes a point where she has to fight back, and she does so in style! Hope you get a chance to take a look…

  4. Wait, Maggie Q was in two horror movies where she plays a tourist going to a weird island in 2020?

    Well, I just saw Fantasy Island last week and I reckon this probably can’t be worse so I’ll probably give it a look.

    • No, it’s miles better than Fantasy Island, that a one star shocker if ever I saw one….this is pretty effective stuff, swithered with a four rating, but it’s just too derivative. That’s not to say it doesn’t work well in places…

Leave a Reply to Bookstooge Cancel reply

Loading…

0