Synopsis – 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.
My Take – Though she managed to be exceptional in her breakout role as Mikaela Banes in the 2007 Michael Bay blockbuster, Transformers (2007), a role which she reprised in its sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), and followed up with films like Jennifer’s Body (2009) which showed genuine talent and remarkable comedic range, the oh-so-gorgeous Megan Fox just never got to rise above the tag of being just an eye candy. A tag which without a doubt affected her filmography.
And with the failed Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles duology behind her, over the past few years, Fox has mainly appeared the sitcom New Girl and in small film playing insignificant supporting roles, but with Rogue (2020), bringing her some good reviews especially for her lead role, Megan Fox seems to have finally began carving her own space.
A factor she doubled down on by being tied to a dead body while running around in the freezing cold in this new low key cat-and-mouse thriller revolving around infidelity, diamonds, and lots of blood. Acting as a low-budget variation on Gerald’s Game (2017), the final result is about as much of a time-passer one could make with a script of its kind.
It moves along swiftly with sufficient drama, tension and darkly amusing dialogue throughout culminating in a wild, blood-soaked finale that just about gets the job done. Yes, it could have been better, but for what it is, first time director S.K. Dale, writer Jason Carveya and especially Megan Fox deserve points for keeping one engaged and wondering where the story is headed with ample twists and turns.
The story follows Emma (Megan Fox), who is struggling in a submissive and unhappy marriage with Mark (Eoin Macken), a high-profile lawyer, who had 10 years ago put Bobby (Callan Mulvey), the man who assaulted her during a botched robbery, in jail. Confused about where her marriage is going, on her anniversary, Emma also ends up breaking up with Tom (Aml Ameen), an employee of Mark, with whom she has been having an affair.
While Mark showers her with gifts and takes her to the snow filled secluded lake house they used to visit together in happier times a step towards reconciliation, Emma’s life takes a drastic turn when she awakes the next day to find herself handcuffed to Mark, who then proceeds to commits suicide right in front of her. With all the phones disconnected or destroyed, and petrol siphoned from the car, Emma is forced to drag Mark’s body all around to figure out a way to free herself.
Matters further complicate with the arrival of Bobby and his younger brother, Jimmy (Jack Roth), who Mark promised diamonds from a safe which can be only opened with Emma’s help. Hereby sanctioning a game of cat and mouse, as the men try to find her and Emma does her best to evade them, knowing that she simply cannot trust that they will be satisfied with just the loot, especially since Emma is the reason Bobby went to jail.
Borrowing a few cues from many other films of the genre, with suspense and terror at every turn, director S.K. Dale manages to keep one enthralled for its entire 88 minute running time. Both director S.K. Dale and writer Jason Carveya do a great job of setting the stage about the couple’s issues minus the usual screaming and swearing, and then throw Emma into an impossible situation. They also make her evasions authentic and plausible to what she would be able to do, without turning her into some kind of a super heroine.
We see her struggles and we root for her survival, and the screenplay offers enough thrills to keep the tension high, particularly in the cat-and-mouse hunt which are sure to elicit gasps and hair-raising tension. Much like The Invisible Man (2020), we root for her to free herself from the shackles of abuse after enduring physical and psychological suffering.
However, the film never leaves the shallow depths of a B film. Sure it is entertaining, but there are not many sub versions or elements of surprises when it comes to the nuts and bolts of what’s really going on. It’s all pretty straightforward, with the symbolism a bit too on the nose at times.
There are also a few of the usual moments where you need to suspend your disbelief, and too many scenes of Emma trying to start cars, but it helps that Megan Fox is surprisingly credible as the woman forced to overcome tragedy as well as fight for her life. In perhaps her most demanding role to date, Megan Fox steps out of her comfort zone and is magnetic as a solitary performer.
She’s unexpectedly good in an emotional and physically tough performance, and especially comes alive when the film gets to the meat, even letting some moments of dark comedy shine through as her performance’s underlying sarcasm complementing circumstances at hand. Her transformation in the film is quite emotionally satisfying to watch, just on a visceral level alone.
In other roles, Callan Mulvey and Jack Roth are effectively menacing, while Eoin Macken and Aml Ameen are decent in their smaller screen time. On the whole, ‘Till Death’ is a slick and efficient straightforward thriller that is decidedly enjoyable.
Directed – S.K. Dale
Rated – R
Run Time – 88 minutes