This is a classic Good News/Bad News situation.
The Good News is that Death Of Me is tourist trauma at its most heinous, so if you dig watching Yuppies circle the drain for 94 minutes, tormented at every turn by language barriers and hallucinations, this is your ticket.
Christine (Maggie Q) and Neil (Luke Hemsworth) wake up hungover in their Thai B&B, with scant memories of the night before. Christine’s passport and phone are missing, and there’s a major typhoon headed for the little island.
Fortunately, Neil’s phone has a two-hour video that explains the missing hours. Apparently, after getting dosed on “Island Magic” and tripping their brains out, Neil and Christine engaged in rough sex. Then Neil strangles Christine and buries her body.
Just to add a touch of verisimilitude, Christine vomits up dirt and grass while watching footage of her own murder.
The film primarily consists of Christine losing track of time (and husband), before regaining consciousness in a succession of locations.
The couple gradually deduce that Christine has been selected as a sacrifice to heathen gods in order to insure that the island remains safe from impending bad weather.
Holding his cell phone, Neil asks Christine, “Who did the guy in The Wicker Man call?”
“Nobody,” she replies. “He got burned to death.”
At least someone is in on the joke.
While Death Of Me contains exotic scenery and the pace fairly gallops, we now come to the Bad News. The word “half-baked” comes to mind.
My theory is director Darren Lynn Bousman (Repo! The Genetic Opera, Saw II) was vacationing on a beautiful island off the coast of Thailand, and the combination of good weed and charming local culture resulted in a “Eureka” moment.
As previously mentioned, the resemblance to The Wicker Man is even remarked upon by poor Neil and Christine themselves. Throw in a little Rosemary’s Baby, and you’ve got a serviceable horror happening.
Honest opinion? Death Of Me doesn’t add up to much, and none of the actors break a sweat, dramatically speaking.
The Thai folk-horror ritual elements conjure some intense, eerie moments, but they’re few and far between.
Keep your passport in the drawer and stay home.