Produced by Lee Nelsen,
David Tish, Charles Dorfman
Written by Arli Margolis,
James Morley III, David Tish
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
Starring Maggie Q, Luke Hemsworth,
Alex Essoe, Kelly B. Jones, Kat Ingkarat
Crisply shot, well-acted but merely so-so “tourist horror” flick.
Maggie Q and Liam Hemsworth play a married couple vacationing on an island off the coast of Thailand who wake up on the last day of their stay disheveled, filthy and with little memory of the night before.
They miss their ferry to the mainland, lose their passports and basically start a truly awful day.
But even more disconcerting is the video Hemsworth finds recorded on his phone.
The video explicitly shows he and Maggie having rough sex, followed by Hemsworth strangling and snapping his wife’s neck then burying her body.
Not long after watching the video, Maggie vomits dirt and grass into the bathroom sink.
So, the premise is basically The Hangover as horror film.
Death of Me starts of well, with a nice hook and some creepy moments and ideas (plus, extra points for something I love in movies: the title appears around the 19 minute mark).
But the film starts to slow down for a long while, and intrigue and mystery curdle into tedium and frustration.
Also, while the presentation of the couple’s exasperation and anger is certainly understandable, Death of Me does have more than a whiff of xenophobia in its depiction of the locals.
This has the unfortunate effect of effect of transforming potentially effective scenes into somewhat cringe-worthy ones.
Still, it’s watchable and the climax brings up some interesting moral choices (love that in a horror flick), but, alas, even this aspect is glossed over.
And while the ending seemed to be leaning into philosophically challenging territory, the filmmakers unwisely opted to go for the cheapie scare.
Not a bad film for a slow night, but the whole affair seems a bit half-baked.