Megan Fox takes the lead in this taut concept-driven home invasion thriller
Emma (Megan Fox) is stuck in life, trapped in a loveless and unfaithful marriage to a husband who once seemed idealistic and loving, but grew dispassionate and bullying, seemingly in correlation with his increasing wealth and worldly success.
Things seem to be patching up for their anniversary, though. She puts aside an extramarital affair, and her husband Mark (Eoin Mackin) is apologetic for his shortcomings, reaffirming his devotion and taking her out for a surprise getaway to a lake house to relive a romantic holiday past.
But things plunge into a nightmare the next morning when she finds herself handcuffed to her dead husband in some grand orchestration of malice, and terrorized by a ghost of her past: a pair of home invaders, one of whom had once tried to kill her. Now, fresh out of prison, he seems intent to finish the job.
There have been films in the past (The Defiant Ones, Black Mama White Mama, Fled) which considered the concept of an unlikely duo chained together and fighting for survival, but Till Death takes it a step further: one of them is a corpse.
Megan Fox proves herself a capable lead in this home invasion survival thriller, which maintains a dramatic and suspenseful, almost somber tone. This isn’t like You’re Next, The Hunt, or Ready or Not where you get amped up by gleeful action sequences or a spree of splattery retribution, but rather a tense survival horror situation with a vulnerable victim living out her worst nightmare.
Emma is a survivor, not only in the context of the film’s immediate plot, but of a past that haunts and threatens her. It’s a history we learn more about — and the players involved — as the story progresses.
The film’s literal realization of “the old ball and chain” also merits some consideration, putting forth an obvious but nonetheless meaningful metaphor of the idea of marital entrapment.
Along with Rogue and Midnight in the Switchgrass, this film, the feature debut of new director S. K. Dale, seems to be establishing an interesting and exciting new path for Megan Fox, leaning into independent genre fare and sinking her teeth into meatier lead roles. She’s well known as an accessory player in big budget Michael Bay productions like Transformers and the appallingly awful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which she’s arguably the best part of), but I’m really enjoying seeing this side of her.
Till Death is new on Blu-ray from Screen Media, and is packaged in a typical blue case.
Special Features and Extras
- The Making of Till Death (6:37)
The director and cast discuss their process. The footage is pretty interesting, offering views of the sets. It’s a surprising amount of fakery, aided by CG, which works flawlessly in the film in providing the illusion of a wintry remote lake house.
- Promotional Trailers: The Birthday Cake (2:04), Girl (1:42)
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Except where noted, all 16:9 screen images in this review are direct captures from the disc(s) in question with no editing applied, but may have compression or resizing inherent to file formats and Medium’s image system.