What a delightfully tense treat 2021’s Till Death, available on Netflix, turned out to be. The concept is simple enough: Megan Fox’s character, Emma, is having an affair with Tom (played by Aml Ameen), who is the underling to Mark (played by Eoin Macken) a rich, crooked prosecutor. Presumably, Mark, who is a controlling, mentally abusive jerk, found out about the affair. In a ruse that he wants to put their marriage back on track, he takes Emma out to their remote lake house (and it’s winter, mind you) and gives her a fancy necklace. But he has sinister motives to get back at her for said affair.
Also, Mark, in his capacity as a prosecutor tampered with evidence and the little empire he’d built for himself was about to come crumpling down. So, by killing himself, he kills two birds with one stone: a.) avoids the shame over that; and b.) punishes Emma beyond the grave for her affair.
So, yeah, he kills himself while handcuffed to Emma. He’s completely emptied the cabin of anything that would seemingly be able to free her from those handcuffs and having to lug around his carcass, including even basic clothes for warmth because IT IS WINTER, except for her wedding dress. And of course, any way in which to call the police.
Meanwhile, there’s the issue of Bobby and Jimmy Ray (played by Callan Mulvey and Jack Roth, respectively), two brothers who are in on Mark’s plan. They want diamonds Mark has promised are in the house and also, Bobby wants revenge on Emma for her putting him away in prison when he stabbed her during a mugging. Maybe don’t mug and stab people, Bobby?
To recap then: Emma, chained to a dead body, with two men, one of them deadly, coming after her and no way to defend herself.
What a cat-and-mouse conundrum that is!
Unfortunately, Tom rolls around, realizes what’s going on with Mark, but doesn’t realize what’s going on with Bobby and Jimmy quick enough and Bobby kills him.
Two things I want to note. First, during the ruse, Mark set up quite literally five dozen candles (probably more) throughout the lake house to be all romantic. That always cracks me up in movies. That’s a lot of work and seems dangerous! Then he had to get rid of all of them before handcuffing himself to Emma and killing himself. Also, unless they’re unscented candles, wouldn’t the scent be overwhelming in that cabin? Secondly, later, Emma is able to use an anchor in the boat shed to free herself from Mark and the handcuffs. I mean, it’s gruesome and would have taken some work, but couldn’t she have used the mirror glass in the bathroom to saw off his hand to free herself much earlier and under less dire circumstances? Nonetheless. Those two “issues” don’t take anything away from the film. It’s just two items I picked up on.
We get a lot of cleverness throughout of how Emma is able to avoid the “cats” in this instance and part of that is with the help of Jimmy not being as into the whole bloodletting thing as his brother, which culminates in Bobby accidentally killing Jimmy.
S.K. Dale, who directed the film in his first feature film, has a lot of stylish shots throughout that only add to the dread I’m feeling as a viewer rooting for Emma to survive, primarily in shots that show just how desolate and dire the situation seems.
And Megan Fox, man. She’s game for this! You buy into her plight as Emma and her, “Screw this guy, Mark. I’m done with his BS.” I loved her in this role and it honestly might be her best role, even more than another horror cult favorite, 2009’s Jennifer’s Body.
Anyhow, I highly recommend giving this film a viewing on Netflix. It’s taut, tense and teeming with style.