DEATH OF ME
(director/writer: Darren Lynn Bousman; screenwriters: Ari Margolis/James Morley III/David Tish; cinematographer: José David Montero; editor: Brian J Smith; music: Mark Sayfritz ; cast: Maggie Q-Quigley (Christine), Luke Hemsworth (Neil), Alex Essoe (Samantha), Kelly Bronwen Jones (Kanda), Kat Ingkarat (Madee), Caledonia Burr (Nathida); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: R; producers: David Buelow/Charles Dorfman/Lee Nelson/David Tish; Saban; 2020)
“It beats me what the hell is going on in this film.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A muddled horror “B” movie that might be all in your head. It’s filmed in Thailand by Darren Lynn Bousman (“Abattoir”/”St. Agatha”) and written by Ari Margolis, James Morley III and David Tish.
The vacationing on a Thailand island American couple, the travel writer Neil (Luke Hemsworth) and his attractive wife Christine (Maggie Q), are asleep in their rented cottage, when the TV comes on and warns them about an approaching typhoon. Christine awakens and tugs at the nearly comatose Neil, lying on the floor, and tells him to wake up because they’re late. Thereby the unclean couple rush to the dock, where they must ferry back to the mainland to depart the country.
On the way, they have a verbal spat with the cab driver, who kicks them out of his cab (that’s a weird scene in itself). When they eventually get to the dock, they can’t find their passports and thereby can’t leave. But the good news is that there’s no threatening typhoon, so they return to their room.
Things go weird when they play a video on Neil’s camera phone that has him murdering and burying Christine after a night of drinking spiked booze. The mystery remains about the footage and how did Christine get such a strange cult necklace and how can you explain the strange behavior of the waitress from last night. In addition, Christine begins coughing up dirt and grass as if she was indeed buried. Samantha (Alex Essoe), the American AirBnB hostess, helps them to try and straighten things out. Whereby they go to the local police and to a doctor, as they try to find the mysterious waitress who drugged them.
They then separate, with Neil going to a local festival that features black magic and films a disemboweling. While now freaky cool, a rejuvenated Christine begins questioning almost everyone on the island.
It beats me what the hell is going on in this film, but aside from all the funny business taking place and the pic being a mess, the island scenery was beautiful. The weird story was like tripping out on some bad stuff and not being able to differentiate between reality and hallucination.
The folk horror film it references is “The Wicker Man, ” indicating how the white tourists, the “ugly Americans,” don’t fit in with the brown skin natives.
REVIEWED ON 10/15/2020 GRADE: C