Till Death

12/23/2021 06:46

Film: Till Death

Year: 2021

Director: S.K. Dale

Writer: Jason Carvey

Starring: Megan Fox, Eoin Macken and Callan Mulvey



This is a movie that I heard about through podcasts. I added it to a list, but it wasn’t that high for me. I’d heard people enjoying it. It wasn’t until I saw this on the Rotten Tomatoes better reviewed horror films for 2021 that I decided to watch this. Jaime was also intrigued when I gave her the basic premise. That synopsis is a woman is left handcuffed to her dead husband as part of a sick revenge plot. Unable to unshackle, she has to survive as two killers arrive to finish her off.

Now that synopsis does go a bit into spoilers, but I don’t think it ruins the movie to be honest. It gives you until I’d say around the end of the first act. To flesh this out a bit more, Emma (Megan Fox) is in a hotel room with Tom (Aml Ameen). I guessed they were having an affair and that is correct. She is there to break it off. He wants her to see him the following day and she informs him that is not possible. It is her anniversary.

Emma is married to Mark (Eoin Macken). He is a powerful defense attorney. Emma goes to his office and finds a file on his desk. She checks it and discovers it is about her. She was a famous photographer who was struggling. She was attacked by Bobby Ray (Callan Mulvey). Mark asks her what she is hiding behind her back. He lightly scolds her about looking at the file. He tells her that his parole is being revoked and that he doesn’t want this upsetting her.

Through their interactions, we see that he is quite controlling. He makes her change and they go out to dinner. Mark gets her a gift when they agreed to not. It is a necklace that he must put on her. She also got him a gift and he’s rude in response to it. The night isn’t over though. He blindfolds her and they go on a drive. It is long and she is getting uneasy. It turns out that he’s taking her to their lake house, even though it is the dead of winter.

It turns out to be a romantic rendezvous. The two of them have champagne and make love. The following morning is when the nightmare begins. She is handcuffed to him and Mark commits suicide. Emma has to find a way out of this situation, but while she was asleep, he has set it up to trap her. There’s no gas in the vehicle. All of the knives and tools are gone. He phone is in a vase of water. Tom shows up and he isn’t the only one. Bobby Ray and his brother Jimmy (Jack Roth) also converge on this isolated house. Bobby Ray was promised diamonds in the safe if he takes care of his wife. It is a fight for survival in this isolated location in the dead of winter.

That should be enough to flesh out the synopsis a bit more and give important back-story elements here. Where I’m going to dive into is the concept of this movie. It feels like it is borrowing from the Stephen King story of ‘Gerald’s Game’, but with a twist. I didn’t mind this actually. I found it quite interesting and a bit morbid. Instead of being handcuffed to the headboard, you are handcuffed to your dead husband. What is interesting there is that allows Emma to move throughout the house, it just isn’t easy.

Going from there, I want to delve into Emma first. She is in a loveless marriage. She is cheating on Mark with Tom. What is interesting there is that Tom is Mark’s employee. I don’t like the fact that she cheating, so that makes her unlikeable in the start. Do I think she deserves the situation that she is put into? Not at all, it is too harsh for sure. What I think though is that she should have been honest. With how controlling Mark is, it probably wouldn’t make a difference. Something else here, Fox showed me she has acting talent. For how beautiful she is, I was fascinated how she could play this role of someone with low self-esteem. Part of this is Mark beating her down. Another aspect is that Bobby Ray’s attack on her and how it left her. I was quite impressed with that part of the character. Her performance in this was good to me.

Speaking of Mark, I want to delve into him next. What I take from this is that he met Emma when he was part of the district attorneys office. Emma calls him out about how he used to put criminals behind bars and now he helps her get away with things. This is a bleak outlook, but he is a big time, high priced lawyer from what we see. He definitely is helping wealthier clients get away with crimes. Jaime and I questioned why he would do what he did to himself. This gets revealed when Tom shows up. I can buy it. There’s another part here that he knows about Emma’s affair. With how rich he is, I’m not shocked there. This guy is so arrogant; I could see him doing what he did as his last effort. It is narcissistic for sure. I give credit to Macken and how he played this role.

Then the last part of the story I wanted to flesh out a bit more is the psychological thriller angle. This takes place mostly on one day. We have the two nights before to set the stage, but then once we are at the lake house, it is just that day. I like the variation on this type of story that we are getting. It is the middle of nowhere. They handle cellphones well. It is winter so that limits them getting away. There are some bad decisions made, but I can be slightly forgiving due to stress and fear. We also get some things that are plot-holes as well. None of them ruin the movie, but I needed to point out that I noticed them. A funny one Jaime brought up with how Emma could get Mark’s shirt on if she is handcuffed to him.

That should be enough for the story. I’ll move this over to the acting. I’ve already said I thought Fox and Macken played their roles well. I’d say that Mulvey has a good look as our villain. His performance is good there. Roth is interesting as a criminal, but non-violent. He is pushed to do things by his older brother and that worked. Aside from that, I thought Ameen was solid as Tom. There aren’t really any other characters, but the rest are fine in their limited roles.

This will then take me to the cinematography, effects and the soundtrack. For the former, I thought this was shot well. We get some interesting shots that are framed well. They do a good job in making it feel cold. I also think it works for building that isolated atmosphere that we needed. Effects were also good. They are mostly done practical from what I could tell. They don’t use a lot of them so that also helps there. I thought the blood looked good, which is always a positive. The soundtrack also fits for what was needed. I like the use of sound with Mark. He has songs that are important to him and Emma. He also has recordings that are prepared for her to help fill in the story that made this interesting to me.

So then in conclusion here, this is an interesting take on a story we’ve seen before. Doing something different at this stage is the best route when possible. The story isn’t the deepest, but it didn’t have to be in order to keep it entertaining. I’d say that the acting was solid across the board. I wouldn’t say they’re going to win awards, but I had issues. It is shot well. The effects work for what was needed. I’d also say that the soundtrack fit for what they needed as well. This is an above average movie. I’d say this is worth a viewing for horror or non-horror fans alike.


My Rating: 7 out of 10