Death Of Me offers a mixed experience
Death of Me, (2020) directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (Several Saw films, Abattoir, Spiral) offers a relatively enjoyable viewing experience. Bousman, being someone who has tackled many horror films, knows what he is doing.
Married couple, Christine played by Maggie Q (Divergent, Fantasy Island) and Neil played by Luke Hemsworth (Westworld) were enjoying island life while on vacation off the coast of Thailand. They wake up in a state of confusion covered in dirt, with one even passed out on the floor. They can’t recall what transpired the night before, and without their passports they are told they won’t be able to leave the island. Scrolling through photos Neil had taken in hopes of finding an answer, they stumble on an odd video. It is a long one that starts with them drinking and ends with Neil strangling Christine to death and burying her. Especially interesting considering Christine is alive and breathing. Or is she? The couple goes around the island trying to figure out what happened, or at least find their IDs, so they can get the hell out of there.
This was not a great movie but apart from some bad acting it kept me intrigued for the majority of the film. The movie moves quickly and doesn’t give the audience time to lose interest. But this speed leads to many verbal explanations for what takes place rather than being told visually. Not being a super original concept, the premise is still spooky with a few new twists.
The two main actors did an okay job with the roles of Christine and Neil, but Maggie Q did an exceptional job in comparison. Obviously distraught by what her husband did to her, and all of the other weird happenings she keeps running into, there are moments for a powerful performance.
Christine is forced to put aside her fear of her husband and what he was capable of doing so they can work together in an attempt to leave this unfamiliar place. Both are terrified as they explore the dark magic on the island, but Neil not so much so that he feels the need to stay with Christine the whole time. Being a travel photographer he runs off to take some pictures, leaving her alone at one point. Really Neil?
A few people the couple meet throughout the film were not portrayed with great performances. There was one woman in particular that took me out of the film many times. Maybe this was a conscious decision, as she does alert us that something is amiss by the way she’s carrying herself, but personally I felt that her acting was weak.
The island itself was beautiful and made for some great drone shots. Other shots are filmed in picturesque ways as well. This movie definitely offers a visually pleasing ride.
There are a few graphic scenes but overall not as much gore as one might expect from a film by this director.
This film relied heavily on the idea of the couple being tourists in an unfamiliar place and not understanding what those on the island are saying. They explore legends, magic, rituals, and culture. I fear the potential misrepresentation of Thai people that might come from this movie as just about everyone on this island was cult-like. I’m not someone who can really tell you if this film depicts a culture in an offensive way or not. You’ll have to decide that one for yourself.
If you are looking for a suspenseful folk horror movie, this might be worth streaming.