Reviews | Written by Paul Mount 14/07/2021

TILL DEATH

Emma (Megan Fox) is trapped in a loveless marriage to arrogant lawyer Mark (Eoin Macken) and has been having an affair with Mark’s junior colleague Tom (Aml Ameen). As Emma and Mark reach their eleventh wedding anniversary Megan decides to end her affair and Mark takes her off to a remote house at the edge of a frozen lake in an attempt, it appears, to relight the fires of their relationship. Emma is nervous about the prospect but as the night wears on the two appear to be slowly closing the gulf between them. But Mark has some other surprises in store. Emma wakes to find herself handcuffed to Mark who proceeds to blow his head off in front of her. Trapped in the middle of nowhere Emma struggles to find a way to free herself from the corpse of her husband but, as it turns out, that’s the least of her problems. Mark, it transpires, was responsible for the imprisonment years earlier of a thug who brutally assaulted and stabbed Emma – she still bears the scars. But now the thug is free and Mark, aware of Emma’s infidelity, has arranged an act of dreadful revenge… from beyond the grave

In many ways Till Death presents as a routine thriller with a distant whiff of the soft-focus ‘made for TV’ about it in its opening moments. The omens aren’t good in the first few scenes where Megan Fox – where has she been lately, by the way? - appears entirely disinterested and barely texts in her performance, much less phones it in. But when the film delivers its USP, she comes alive, as does the movie, and whilst her travails and troubles are ultimately fairly predictable, there’s a lot of fun to be had in watching the film play out its beats. We’ve seen this sort of thing many times before, of course, but Till Death, nimbly directed by S.K. Dale, ramps up the tension as Emma’s situation deteriorates from the bad - being shackled to a blood-drenched dead man with no easy way of breaking the bond – to the unbearable (if not slightly implausible) – hunted and terrorised by the man who brutalised her years ago and his cowardly, quivering brother. By the time she finally confronts her assailants, it’s clear that Fox is having a ball here and she’s delivering the best performance of her career, matching the sneery malevolence of her aggressors in a cat-and-mouse game of survival. Trapped miles away from nowhere in a hostile, icy location with a handy nearby frozen lake that pretty much signposts where the story will end up, her cell phone and car incapacitated, Emma’s forced to fight back using anything at her disposal as her situation becomes increasingly desperate.

We didn’t really expect much from Till Death, to be honest, and whilst it’s hard to argue that it’s not cut from very familiar and generic thriller movie cloth, it’s enlivened by a slick and taut script, inventive direction and, most importantly and most surprisingly, a gutsy turn from Fox. Enjoyable stuff.

Till Death is out now in the US.