Death of Me follows a couple who awakes from a seemingly drunken night in their hotel room on a Thai island only to find a video tape that shows Neil (Luke Hemsworth) murdering Christine (Maggie Q). They must discover the mystery behind the disturbing tape in order to escape the island alive.
Death of Me Review
I first said it as a joke, but this movie is kind of like the horror version of The Hangover. Don't take that to mean it's funny by any means -- it is a purely dark and foreboding feature -- but the premise is very much like a horror version of the comedy's synopsis. A couple wakes up in their hotel room with hangovers and no memory of the night before. Their wrecked hotel room is the least of their worries though, as they must solve the mystery behind a recording that shows one of them murdering the other. As simple as the premise sounds, the plot takes about as many twists as The Hangover, but with a supernatural and macabre tone.
I'm not usually a fan of films with psychedelic tendencies, especially when we are constantly flipping back and forth between what is really happening and what is an illusion or hallucination. Leaving me constantly guessing between reality and illusion, unless executed perfectly, often leads to only disconnect me from the film and/or leave me uninterested with the likelihood it is all in the person's head. This concept happens far too often in an otherwise intriguing plot. In fact, I would argue that the plot itself offers enough mystery that such contrived plot devices are unnecessary to keep the intrigue up, yet the film is littered with these moments that plague my patience.
Maggie Q does a great job in the lead, but the thicc Hemsworth shows why he is the least known actor of his siblings. He's not awful, but he is drab and shallow. The islanders all play their parts with a level of unoriginal familiarity, unable to mask their clearly suspicious behavior. The finale isn't predictable down to the detail, but I would argue the overarching climactic reveal is fairly easy to grasp onto. That leaves us with the need for a powerful script and deft execution of some strong horror visuals to get us there. The script is okay, but the horror elements are particularly hot and cold.
There is something about the visual take of the sewn-up entities in the film that truly feels haunting and disturbing, but it is perhaps the only element of the entire film I found engaging on a horror level. The rest felt wholly uninspired and was executed in a bland "killer island" formula that felt like a familiar experience, not only on film, but on low-class, direct-to-tv film.
The film certainly has its moments, but there is a lack of cohesion in quality that kept me from staying engaged. I couldn't latch onto the world they built despite some commendable attempts to do so. That certainly doesn't fall on the shoulders of Maggie Q, who does nearly everything right throughout the runtime. She is certainly a bright spot in a feature that is otherwise lacking more spark. It takes a lot for me to call a movie a waste, and I won't call this movie one, but it was certainly unimpressive to me.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 8/10 Horror Quality: 5/10 Film Quality: 4/10