Death of Me (2020) Review

*Warning Contains Spoilers*
Maggie Q just loves island set horror films. She loves them so much that she has had 2 come out in 2020. Yes thats right while the rest of us have been suffering lockdown she has been jetting around the globe visiting various idyllic isles just to have the wits scared out of her.

Death of Me sees the amazing actress swap Fantasy Island for a more real yet just as scary sun lit island setting playing Christine whose partner Neil (Westworld’s Luke Hemsworth) is a travel reporter visiting the backwaters and byways of the South Pacific in search of the unknown.

Waking up with a hangover from hell the couple find their room trashed, their phones and passports missing and no recollection of the previous night. With a typhoon coming they try to leave the island but fail, loosing the rest of their luggage as well on the departing boat.

Finally they have a stroke of luck and finding Neil’s camera they flick through the pictures he took the previous night hoping to gain some clues of what transpired Instead of answers they discover a video which shows them visiting a secluded bar where they are served a strange drink and Christine is given a necklace. Appearing completely wasted the footage follows them home where disturbingly they watch Neil rape and murder Christine before burying her body.

Freaked out at the shocking and impossible film they have watched the pair start to search the island for an explanation but all they find is more malevolent mystery. With the destructive typhoon ever approaching the islanders seem unusually calm and wrapped up in a freaky festival that Neil has never heard of involving monstrous masks and a fatally familiar effigy.

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman the helmer of Saw 2 to 4 and the underrated Abattoir, Death of Me is very much a exotic update of Wicker Man with the characters even directly referencing the iconic film at one point in a great gag.

Packed with duplicitous locals, sinister celebrations and a desperate struggle by the main duo to uncover the truth it plays out as any horror lover would expect with a few nice twists and turns along the way. The theme of sacrifice is interestingly explored playing out slightly unexpectedly as the movie asks us all if we would weigh one life as more important than an entire communities. even if it was our own.

The added element comes with a slice of the supernatural seen straight away in the set up as Christine realises she has been somehow resurrected and continuing as she vomits dirt and blood and is visited by horrifying visions. In the main role Maggie Q is as brilliant as she ever is instantly engaging our support and sympathy as she fights for survival unable to trust even her own lover due to what she has witnessed.

The supporting cast are all solid including Hemsworth and The Haunting of Bly Manor’s Alex Essoe and the island itself becomes a character all of its own which seems just as determine to destroy Christine for its own evil ends as the inhabitants are.

Special mention must go to the spectacular soundtrack by Mark Sayfritz which ups the tense and oppressive atmosphere of the movie tenfold. Looping and repeating the same strange sorrowful song at varying speeds it is one of the most haunting and effective horror soundtracks I have heard in a long time.

An interesting and entertaining riff on ritual horror, superstition and sacrifice Death of Me is raised up by Maggie Q’s performance and the sensational soundtrack and is far better than some of the other examples from the genre that have come out this year thats for sure.

I wonder which island paradise Maggie Q will be off to next?

Signature Entertainment presents Death of Me on Digital HD and DVD from November 23rd

Movie Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Trailer:

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Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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