From Darren Lynn Bousman (Repo! The Genetic Opera, The Devil’s Carnival, Saw II-IV) comes the mysterious and intriguing Death of Me which plays like a nightmarish version of The Hangover with added chills! The film opens with Christine (Maggie Q) and Neil (Luke Hemsworth), two American tourists who are vacationing on a remote Thailand island. Neil is a journalist doing a pirce on the island. Their last night on the island is one to remember… or not when they both awake with no memory of what happened the night before. Only a bizarre video recorded on Neil’s camera offers any clues to what happened and what it does show them disturbs them to the core! Soon it becomes clear that the island may be more than they realised and with no passports or paperwork it looks like they may be unable to leave when the next ferry arrives in twenty-four hours!
One of the biggest strengths of the movie is the stark imagery and editing that Bousman layers throughout the movie both to keep pace and to disturb the audience at the same time. This coupled with a sometimes shamonic, sometimes just plain vexing soundtrack easily ensnares the audience throughout the movie and leads them down a dark spiralling rabbit hole with little hope of daylight.
Watching the usually bad-ass Maggie Q showing vulnerability and fear as Christine draws the audience in even more as it is not something usually associated with characters she portrays. It adds a dimension to the movie that allows the audience to feel Christine’s frustartions and concerns at what is happening. The rest of the cast are more the adequate to add some mood and flavour to the proceedings too with Alex Essoe (Doctor Sleep) standing out greatly and she tries to help Christine through her trauma.
Unfortunately the main weakness comes from the plot of the movie. The first half is excuted to perfection with intriguing hints and wonder as to what happened and why, whilst the second part, as the revelations unfold soon become the usual by-the-mill folk horror cliches you would expect. I think because the first half of the movie was so good I felt let down more by the second half of the movie. That said, what they did is done very well, I just had my expectations built up too high I guess.
Verdict: 6.5/10. Coming out of the gates, Death of Me is a scarily unpredictabe enchanting movie that will have you hooked and eager to find out just what is going with Christine and Neil. As the movie progresses though originality and atmosphere give way to folk horror traditions that have you predicting what is to come. Death of Me is well worthing checking out though and you will have fun when you do.
Saban Films will release Death of Me in theatres and On Demand and Digital on October 2nd. You can check the Saban Films Facebook page for more information.