Movie Review: Death of Me (2020)

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (Repo! The Genetic Opera, Saw III and Saw IV), Death of Me is a 2020 horror thriller film. Married couple Christine (Maggie Q) and Neil Oliver (Luke Hemsworth, Westworld) are on an idyllic getaway on a small island off the coast of Thailand, but soon find their passports missing and luggage already transported away without them. As the pair try to recollect the night before, they find a video taken on Neil’s phone where it appears that Neil kills Christine. Left in shock and with many questions, the pair ask around the village with the only the American local house owner and Samantha (Alex Essoe) and Samantha’s young daughter to guide them.

+ both Maggie Q and Hemsworth are good in their roles, and are clearly trying their best with the script they are given. The few times they react realistically to the situation are the highlights, before they eventually fall into the familiar horror tropes we love to hate
+ as much as the plot is not good, the atmosphere is really oppressive and tense. The droning, nauseating background audio (I almost wrote “music”, can you imagine) creates a real sense of unease, and the simple idea of being in danger in a country where you don’t speak the language or know anybody is as easy a set up as you could ask for

– the whole thing is just boring. The film alternates between overly predictable (which is fine) and then dumping huge exposition scenes (which is slightly less fine) with a few spooky moments in between. It all feels very familiar
– there are some poor pacing issues, where I was expecting the film to wrap up in a neat little package at around the two-third mark, before things take a turn for the worse. Some scenes are shown non-chronologically (or are they?!) and it makes you think far too hard about the plot, and think far harder than perhaps the writers wanted you to

> Maggie Q apparently has bad luck on mysterious islands

Should you see this film: To be honest, this was not a bad film. The acting was fine, the plot is cliched but not necessarily bad and the final few moments may get a rise from some less familiar horror fans. If you like these mystery-thriller plots in horror movies you may get something out of it.


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