Movie Review ~ Till Death

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The Facts:

Synopsis: Emma is left handcuffed to her dead husband as part of a sickening revenge plot and must survive two hired killers on their way to finish the job.

Stars: Megan Fox, Eoin Macken, Aml Ameen, Callan Mulvey, Jack Roth

Director: S.K. Dale

Rated: NR

Running Length: 92 minutes

TMMM Score: (7/10)

Review: Let’s just face the facts about something. It’s going to be hard for us to admit it collectively so I can go ahead and speak for the group: we all missed the boat big time on Megan Fox and gave her a raw deal back in the Transformers days.  Don’t bother to argue or pretend you don’t agree.  Don’t point to the Transformers sequel and go “But, look!”  Don’t hold up your used copy of Jonah Hex with it’s not quite torn off Blockbuster label and for goodness sake please don’t even start with Jennifer’s Body.  If you are still claiming Jennifer’s Body is a bad movie you need to go back and watch it again and then come back and apologize. There is no space for Jennifer’s Body deniers here.

What I’m trying to say is that Fox achieved a certain amount of fame for something other than her acting and that somehow rendered her a bad actress, which I just don’t think she is.  Now, what I do think is that she’s an actress that has to be in the right movie to be successful and Till Death is her bread and butter.  The Bulgaria-filmed thriller has a dynamite concept, one of those situations you read on paper and think it could never be stretched to a feature length but which, miraculously, manages to work beautifully as a zesty little bit of bloody fun which keeps you alert and on your toes.

Emma (Fox, What to Expect When You’re Expecting) is not in the happiest of marriages, as evidenced by her ongoing affair with an employee (Aml Ameen, Lee Daniels’ The Butler) at her husband Mark’s office.  While she recently ended her relationship with Tom, her thoughts continue to drift to him even as she’s out with Mark (Eoin Macken) for an uncharacteristically romantic evening.  Whisking her away to their secluded lake house, Mark has the luxuriously furnished dwelling all set-up for a seductive evening and appears ready to recommit to their union.  With her affair over and her once aloof spouse now showing renewed interest, Emma feels as if this may be a positive step in reclaiming her life.  Then she falls asleep.

When Emma wakes up, she’s handcuffed to Mark who has a gun in his other hand.  Before she knows it, he’s killed himself and she’s left all alone tethered to her dead mate.  Then things get weirder.  Not only has Mark committed suicide in front of her, but everything in the furnished house has disappeared overnight.  Anything she could use to free herself or call for help has vanished.  Realizing she’s been set-up, Emma has to use considerable strength to move about the house and find a way to literally get rid of her dead weight of a husband.  What she doesn’t realize is that Mark has also connected with someone from Emma’s past, a stalker (Callan Mulvey, Shadow in the Cloud) who attacked her and was sent to prison but was recently released.  And he’s on his way over.

Fans of talking to the screen will have a field day with Fox and Till Death because the numerous predicaments screenwriter Jason Carvey puts Emma into are enough to drive you bonkers.  One moment, you’re cheering her on for her ingenuity and the next you’re screaming at her for blowing her cover by knocking something over.  Director S.K. Dale works within these tight constraints of the house and the small surrounding area, never letting things get too claustrophobic while always reminding you just how alone Emma is without any form of help coming to save her.  Several well-done sequences of near misses are nicely thought out and, even better, believably executed.  It never looks like Fox is just dragging a cloth dummy around after her, either.  The poor guy playing her husband really takes a beating as the corpse…it’s like a horror version of Weekend at Bernie’s.

Stylish thrillers with strong female leads are the types of films that Fox should make more of and recently she’s been headlining a number of titles in this genre, which suit me just fine.  Right now, I have another film in my queue to watch she’s co-starring in with Bruce Willis that’s due out in a few weeks so the jury’s out if that will produce the same rewarding fruit that Till Death found.  For now, it’s worth it to take note of how this well-done feature uses its star to draw the suspense higher and maintain it through to the very end.

One comment on “Movie Review ~ Till Death

  1. […] Street Parts 1 and 2,” “Summer of Soul,” “Long Story Short,” “Till Death,” “12 Mighty Orphans,” “I Carry You With Me,” “Black […]

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