• Death Of Me (Lionsgate) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Lionsgate
    Released on: November 17th, 2020.
    Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
    Cast: Maggie Q, Luke Hemsworth,
    Kat Ingkarat
    Year: 2020
    Purchase From Amazon

    Death Of Me – Movie Review:

    Darren Lynn Bousman, probably best known for directing the first three Saw sequels, directs this horror film that owes a lot to pictures like The Wicker Man and the more recent Midsommar.

    The film is set in Thailand where Christine (Maggie Q) and her husband, Neil (Luke Hemsworth), are enjoying a vacation. Or at least they should be. On the last day of their trip, Christine wakes up alone in bed, covered in dirt, with Neil, similarly filthy, on the floor nearby. She wakes him up and neither one of them can remember what happened – and then they notice that their passports are gone, as is their luggage. Christine does have a strange necklace that she doesn’t recognize, however.

    Now unable to get out of the country, they have no other choice but to start poking around the area to find out what happened to their stuff. As they do this, they realize that the locals are preparing to celebrate a massive religious festival. At the same time, a rather ominous storm looks set to hit the area. When Neil thinks to check his camera, puzzlingly not stolen with the rest of their stuff, he finds footage of him and Christine drinking, served by a woman named Madee (Kat Ingkarat) before then heading out of the establishment where he strangles and buries his lovely wife! Christine is, quiet understandably, upset by this revelation, and so too is she very confused. Even more so when she starts having odd visions…

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where this one is going pretty early on, and that’s a shame because Bousman paces the film well and gets pretty decent performances out of his two leads. Maggie Q in particular is very good here, treating the material seriously and giving her all, especially as it all moves towards its sadly very predictable finish. The movie is often times strikingly photographed, the scenery of the locations used really looking very impressive here and certainly adding a whole lot in terms of production value. The movie also does a pretty good job with the ‘stranger in a strange land’ aspect, letting us feel for the couple as they try to get answers from a local populace that doesn’t speak the same language as they do (these scenes are left without subtitles, letting us get a feel for how confusing this could be where we in their shoes).

    These scenes are overused, however, and the middle stretch of the film winds up feeling repetitive because of that. Had there been more effort put into making a more original script (this movie has three credited writers, surely someone had to have some better ideas than this?) Death Of Me could have turned out to be a pretty solid horror/thriller. That didn’t happen, and the end result is simply mediocre. It’s not a film worth hating on, as it has its good qualities, but not enough of them to make it worth making an effort to see.

    Death Of Me – Blu-ray Review:

    Death Of Me arrives on Blu-ray from Lionsgate on a 25GB region free disc with the feature taking up 20.5GBs of space on the disc and framed at 1.85.1 widescreen. Shot digitally, there’s obviously no print damage or grain to discuss, the image is pristine. Colors are reproduced very nicely, black levels are strong and there’s pretty decent texture here as well. Detail is generally impressive, and the transfer is free of any noticeable compression artifacts or edge enhancement problems.

    Audio for the feature is handled by an English language 24-bit DTS-HD 5.1 track, with optional subtitles offered in English and Spanish. Audio quality is really solid, with the track helping to accentuate the tension in the film’s final act by using some clever effects and dialogue placement. The score sounds good too, there’s occasionally some pretty impressive depth here.

    The main extra on the disc is a twenty-three-minute making of featurette called Island Magic: Conjuring The Death Of Me that is comprised of an interview with director Darren Lynn Bousman. Here he covers the shooting locations, casting the film, the story, scripting the movie, some of the themes that the movie explores, working with local talent, makeup effects, scoring the picture and more. There's quite a bit of behind the scenes footage in here as well and it serves as a decent overview of the making of the picture.

    Aside from that we get bonus trailers for Vivarium and Guns Akimbo, We Summon The Darkness, menus and chapter selection. This release also comes with an insert containing a code for a digital HD download version of the movie as well as a slipcover.

    Death Of Me – The Final Word:

    Death Of Me starts off reasonably strong but it loses it towards the end and winds up feeling a bit derivative. Maggie Q and Luke Hemsworth are decent in the leads and the movie is often times beautiful to look at, making it a shame that the story didn’t turn out to be better. Lionsgate’s Blu-ray release does look and sound very nice, but ultimately the film is pretty mediocre.

    Click on the images below for full sized Death Of Me Blu-ray screen caps!