A vacationing couple must unravel the mystery behind a strange video that shows one of them killing the other.
Darren Lynn Bousman is a filmmaker that I greatly admire and respect. Although I strongly dislike the vast majority of the Saw sequels that he directed, I still think that somewhere deep within there is a good director. It wasn’t until just this past week that I heard he had a brand new original film coming out called Death of Me. I didn’t watch a single trailer for the movie and I wanted to go in one-hundred percent fresh.
I was really hoping that Death of Me would be the movie that proved Bousman as a force to be reckoned with in the horror industry, but unfortunately, it does the exact opposite. Not only is this his worst effort as a director yet, but it is perhaps the worst mainstream horror film of the year so far.
The first couple of minutes were not too interesting, but I was holding out hope that it would eventually turn into a genuinely white-knuckling and intense story of inner fear and chaos, but it never became that at all. In truth, Death of Me plays out like an extremely watered down and bland version of 1973’s The Wicker Man, which is funny because this movie literally mentions the title of that film in the first act.
It’s one of those movies where you can tell the screenwriters thought they were writing something tremendously genius and mind-bending, but in all reality, is just a long-drawn-out series of events that are not only confusing but tragically boring to watch. The film sets up all these little mysteries along the way that are supposed to entice you. They’re supposed to make you want to uncover all the secrets in this world. It fails at this heavily. I’m not even sure that the answers to these puzzle pieces even exist.
Not to mention the fact that the film barely even comes across as a horror film, either. Instead, it feels like a low-budget psychological thriller that you may find while channel surfing on television late at night. The real scary thing here is trying to make it all the way to the end of the story.
It would have been nice to have had some good, nuanced performances throughout to keep things even a little bit interesting, but we don’t even get that which was a huge disappointment for me because I like all of the actors involved with this project. Maggie Q, Luke Hemsworth, Alex Essoe, and others have all proven themselves to be magnificent actors that are excellent in their field. Despite the fact that their performances here are weak and generic, I don’t even think it’s their fault. It’s the fault of the screenwriters. They simply wrote a bad script with lots of cringe-worthy dialogue and they wrote almost every character to make a laughably stupid decision at least once throughout the duration of the film.
To be completely honest with you, there wasn’t anything I genuinely enjoyed about Death of Me, which is massively heartbreaking for me to say. It had some true promise with its concept and its long list of supremely talented actors, but all of that promise was wasted on a truly awful script. These actors deserved better.
Death of Me is quite possibly the worst mainstream horror movie of the year so far. Its script is devoid of thrills and it wastes the talents of many actors such as Maggie Q and Luke Hemsworth.
Overall Grade: F
MPAA Rating: R for violence, gore, sexual content, and language
Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Distributed by: Saban Films
Release Date: October 2, 2020
Running Time: 94 minutes