23rd November 2020 (UK VOD Premiere)
A vacationing couple must discover the mystery behind a strange video that shows one of them killing the other.
Darren Lynn Bousman
Maggie Q, Luke Hemsworth, Alex Essoe
They say the best nights are the ones you can’t remember.
Not for Christine (Maggie Q; Divergent) and Neil (Luke Hemsworth; Thor: Ragnorak – not to be confused with his Avenger brother Chris). Waking up in their Thai resort room covered in dirt and with traces of blood on their person, neither of them have any idea what occurred the previous evening. Worse still, they’re due to leave the island that day but they can’t find their ID’s to board the departing ferry.
Returning to their room to look for them, Neil looks through the pictures on their digital camera for potential clues on what could have happened to the pair. He discovers a two and a half hour video which shows them at a restaurant knocking back shots. That would explain the blackout, but what follows is infinitely more disturbing. The film shows him strangling Maggie and breaking her neck. The shocking act still doesn’t ring any bells for either of them, but it begins an unravelling of a mystery that will have them questioning their sanities and reality.
Think of Death of Me as a Hangover without the laughs. Yes, we did already get that with Part 3, but here there’s a more mysterious angle to the amnesia. Its setup is a confident one and had me hooked. I was genuinely intrigued to see where it would lead. Unfortunately, the barrage of confusing hallucinations becomes tiresome quickly. I could see what director Darren Lynn Bousman, who directed three entries of the gruesome Saw franchise and – concerningly – is in charge of the upcoming Spiral, was going for but like a child in a festival crowd, he sure makes it hard to follow. His prior bloody credentials mean there’s a few occasions of body horror, but its tone aims for a more psychological approach rather than graphic gore.
The leads in Maggie Q and Hemsworth, the Daniel Baldwin of the Hemsworth clan, make for an affable pairing but there’s next to no time given to develop their characters. We learn they’re on the island as a work assignment for Travel blogger Neil and Christine is along for the free ride. Even still, she seems miffed at him when he wants to go and take photographs of local culture or, y’know, do his job. Other than that, scriptwriting trio Ari Margolis, James Morley III and David Tish are too concerned with trying baffle us with “is that really there?” visuals that the task of shaping the people it’s happening to takes a backseat.
Alas, Death Of Me‘s reveal does not (and admittedly probably could not) satisfactorily live up to its potential shown in the opening 20 minutes. Its eventual reasoning lands like a feather from a skyscraper and leaves many of its posed questions frustratingly unanswered.
If nothing else though, Death Of Me serves a stark warning never to take a partner along with you on a business trip.
Death Of Me is available on Digital Platforms from 23rd November through Signature Entertainment.
Intriguing premise with a strong start
Decent leads in Maggie Q and Luke Hemsworth
Convoluted and confused execution