Dropping onto Netflix UK today, just in time for the run-up to Halloween, is the horror-thriller, Till Death. Directed by S.K. Dale, the movie stars Megan Fox, Callan Mulvey, Eoin Macken, and Aml Ameen, and follows the story of Emma – a young woman who becomes trapped in a twisted story of revenge.
In the movie, Emma is married to Mark – a controlling man, who treats his wife as a piece of property. He dictates what she wears, what she eats, and cares little for her feelings.
On their anniversary, after the pair go out for dinner, Mark surprises Emma with a late-night trip to a remote, snow-covered lake house. It is a house where they once spent happier times, and Emma believes Mark is showing a romantic side.
But the next morning, Emma wakes up to discover she is handcuffed to her husband. Mark then promptly kills himself, leaving Emma attached to his corpse.
After frantically searching the house for a way to remove the handcuffs, Emma soon comes to discover that before his death, Mark had conceived an elaborate plan for revenge after learning his wife was having an affair. This plan involves trapping her in the lake house and cutting her off from the outside world, with no hope for survival.
But things soon get worse for Emma, when she realises that Mark’s plan for revenge is even more disturbing. He has organised a visit to the house from someone from Emma’s past – a violent convict, who is keen to reconnect.
Emma must find a way to free herself from her dead husband, while fighting for her life. But with harsh conditions outside, and even harsher conditions indoors, will Emma be able to escape the nightmare she finds herself in?
Till Death is an interesting and engrossing movie, which plays out like an episode of the old horror TV show, Tales from the Crypt. It presents a fairly straight-forward story, about death and revenge, but it’s a story filled with various twists and turns, along with some blood and gore.
In addition to Tales from the Crypt, there are shades of Panic Room (2002) in the movie, along with elements of Gerald’s Game (2017). So, if you are fans of any of the above, then chances are you will find something to like here.
And even if you aren’t familiar with the shows and movies that I’ve mentioned, Till Death will grab your attention regardless. This film is short, sharp, cold and bleak, makes for a devilish little chiller – especially at this time of year – and features a great turn from Megan Fox.
Fox is slap-bang in the middle of the story, and becomes the key player in the film. Throughout the course of Till Death, her character, Emma, is pushed to the brink and back, moving from one bad scenario to the next.
For Fox, this means taking on a role which is physically demanding. She doesn’t get a lot of dialogue, but she does get plenty of screen time; with a large chunk of it either attached to a corpse, running barefoot through snow, or splattered in blood.
As far as I’m concerned, she’s great in this film, and throws herself into every scene, moving through the narrative from victim, to survivor, and then to bad-ass. OK, so her make-up is unbelievably flawless throughout, which considering what she goes through is arguably the oddest thing about this entire picture, but it doesn’t detract from what she gives to the role.
Fox often gets harsh criticism for her acting, and sure, there really is little dialogue for her here, but she gets to play to her strengths in this movie. She demonstrates a real commitment to her part, is more than capable of taking on the physical elements of her role, and it’s a win from me.
Joining Fox is Callan Mulvey – better known to the ‘90s generation as Drazic from Heartbreak High – who is suitably menacing as the chief bad guy of the story. His role as the ex-con doesn’t require much, but he knows how to leer at the screen, and it all works out well.
And then there’s Eoin Macken, who takes on the part of Emma’s husband, Mark. Macken’s acting during early scenes of the movie is pretty ropey, but once his character is killed off, he proves he has exactly what it takes to play a corpse… and I can’t fault him for this.
What I like most about Till Death is the way the film sets up its premise, and then just gets down to business. It’s lean, it offers up a decent amount of suspense, has a wonderfully macabre edge, and most important of all, it doesn’t outstay its welcome.
Is Till Death the greatest thriller of all time? No, but it doesn’t claim to be. This picture simply wants to offer a short burst of drama, and it does just that.
I would have liked a little more depth, and perhaps a few more minutes to explore the cat-and-mouse element of the story, but I’m going to stop myself before I become overly critical. What this movie serves up is perfectly fine, and that’s all that needs to be said.
If you are after a simple thriller to watch over the Halloween season, then Till Death is certainly one to consider. Fox is great, the premise is straight forward, and there’s just enough action and suspense to make it all work.
Till Death provides 90-minutes of chills and thrills. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, so don’t expect to be taken on a rollercoaster of new ideas, but it does deliver where it counts.