Death of Me review – Thai-holiday thriller can't supply the scares

A couple wake up in their Airbnb with worrying thoughts about what happened the night before in a frustrating tale

Here is a promising idea for a scary movie that proves to be unscary and uninteresting in the most baffling, frustrating way. It starts out with a weird echo of the Hangover movies, then morphs into a variation on classic horrors such as The Wicker Man and even Rosemary’s Baby – but with none of the dark impish wit that you’d hope for with borrowings like those.

Maggie Q plays vacationer Christine, who one morning wakes from a heavy sleep in her rented Airbnb on a lovely little Thai island, alongside her equally insensible partner Neil, played by Luke Hemsworth (brother of Liam and Chris). Money and passports are missing and they can’t remember what on earth went on the previous night. A video on Neil’s camera indicates that it was something extremely disturbing, perhaps connected with the typhoon that is supposedly on its way to the island and the existence of a strange ritual ceremony involving the entire local community.

Christine and Neil do their best to forget the awful things they have seen on the video and to escape the island somehow, and they figure they can count on the Airbnb owner Samantha (Alex Essoe). But the Thai locals, with their opaque manner and incomprehensible language, are not reassuring.

Quite aside from the rather casual way Thai people are cast in the role of sinister predators and pagan conspirators, there is the dullness of the execution: moderate performances with borderline-embarrassing “What’s going on?” acting and endless drone shots over the Thai landscape. One to miss.

• Death of Me is available on digital platforms from 23 November.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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