These days most people probably know Megan Fox best for The Transformers franchise – and her feud with director Michael Bay – and her relationship with Machine Gun Kelly. Fox hasn’t done many movies since the forgettable live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And no one likely ranked Fox high among today’s working actors. But Fox was damn good in the cult classic, Jennifer’s Body. While’s her range may be a bit narrow, Fox can deliver in the right role. Before she makes a big screen return in the The Expendables 4, Fox found the right role in 2201’s under-the-radar thriller, Till Death.
Trapped in a loveless marriage with a controlling husband, Emma wants nothing more than to be free. As their anniversary approaches, Mark unexpectedly takes Emma to their remote winter cabin, promising to change before making love to her. But when Emma wakes up the next morning, she discovers she’s handcuffed to Mark who admits he knows about her affair with a co-worker. And with that, Mark shoots himself in the head. Now bound to her dead husband and alone, Emma struggles to escape before her husband’s final surprise arrives.
Till Death Delivers a White Knuckle Game of Cat-and-Mouse
Neither director SK Dale nor writer Jason Carvey have extensive credits to their name. But if Till Death is any indication we can expect good things in the future. Yes, Till Death borrows a big bit from Gerald’s Game and little bits from Sleeping With The Enemy and just about any home invasion thriller. Yet the execution far surpasses any minor grievances. Even before Till Death executes its early twist, Dale piles on the suspense. An early scene where Emma shares an elevator ride with her husband and lover feels like a knife twisting. And the suspense only intensifies from the point onward following Mark’s shocking exit.
Even before Till Death executes its early twist, Dale piles on the suspense.
Initially, as Emma finds herself handcuffed to her dead husband’s body, Dale relies on quiet tension and a macabre sense of humour. Once Mark’s hired killers arrive, Till Death rarely relents as Dale finds increasingly clever ways to keep his cat-and-mouse game moving forward. All of the movie’s blood and tension is set against a beautifully captured winter backdrop. The blustery scenery drives home the danger and isolation of Emma’s predicament. While there’s some blood and guts, Till Death emphasizes white-knuckle thrills and a roller-coaster approach to the material.
Megan Fox Reminds Audiences She Can Convince in the Right Roles
Critics and fans alike often unfairly malign Megan Fox. Undoubtedly, her public feud with Michael Bay limited her career options. Moreover, Fox isn’t likely to earn an Oscar nomination anytime soon. But Till Death offers a reminder that Fox was a movie star for a reason. She possesses a wealth of charisma and thrives playing characters that have a bit of snark. Given that she’s on screen for almost the entirety of the movie, much of Till Death’s success hinges on her. And Fox delivers a wickedly fun performance ensuring that you’re firmly in her corner.
But Till Death offers a reminder that Fox was a movie star for a reason.
Fox’s performance really helps in the absence of a consistently present villain. Eoin Macken’s abusive Mark conveys a quiet menace, but he abruptly exits the movie by design. Callan Mulvey and Jack Roth’s Jimmy Ray help propel the movie’s second-half game of cat-and-mouse. Neither character has much in the way of a discernible personality. Still the dynamic between the brothers heightens the suspense.
Till Death is a Surprise Hit for 2021
If Till Death isn’t particularly original, it more than makes up for it with dark humour, style, and suspense. Everything works here. The production values are top notch, the action is bloody fun, and Dale’s approach to the material is inventive and relentless. Most importantly, Fox serves up a reminder that she has more than enough natural charisma to fill up the screen. In a year where horror fans were anxiously awaiting a handful of delayed major releases, Till Death is yet another unexpected winner.