Till Death is a 2021 Psychological Thriller directed by S.K. Dale starring Megan Fox, Eoin Macken and Callan Mulvey.
Emma (Fox) is a housewife, trapped in an unhappy marriage with her overly controlling husband Mark (Macken). On the day of their tenth wedding anniversary, Mark gifts her a surprise trip to their lake house and a romantic evening, promising her that he will do better and try what he can to save their marriage.
However, after they spend the night together, Emma finds herself handcuffed to Mark the next morning. Mark shoots himself in the head right in front of her, leaving Emma bound to his corpse and stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Not related to the American sitcom 'Til Death.
Till Death contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Downplayed. Emma doesn't have any combat training and she's not particularly good with weapons, but she's resourceful, resilient and most importantly, 100% done with the men in her life.
- Action Survivor: Emma does a remarkably good job navigating Mark's twisted Thanatos Gambit and while tied to his dead body, no less.
- Amoral Attorney: Mark works as a district attorney and at the start of the movie has taken to defend the absolute worst of the worst, much to Emma's dismay. He's later revealed to have been tampering with evidence, making him an even more straight-forward example.
- Anti-Villain: Jimmy is only at the lake house because Bobby more or less forced him to come and is horrified when Bobby kills Tom and all but tells him he's planning to do horrible things to Emma. While he does help Bobby to hunt down and capture Emma, it's clear that he's not nearly as into the whole thing as Bobby is and would honestly just like to go home and forget about the whole thing. He even dies trying to protect Emma when Bobby tries to cut her head off in order to get at her necklace.
- Asshole Victim: Bobby is a brutal thug who keeps blaming Emma for everything that went wrong in his life after he attacked her and got arrested when she managed to fight him off. Even in his last living moments, he literally tries to drag her down with him to drown together in the lake. It's incredibly satisfying to see Emma stab him in the other eye and then swim to the surface, leaving him to die alone.
- Awful Wedded Life: Mark and Emma's marriage is portrayed as completely miserable and loveless. Mark seems to view Emma more as his property than his wife and Emma hasn't felt anything for Mark in years.
- Bittersweet Ending: Emma has finally, both literally and figuratively, cut herself off from all the toxic men in her life. Mark is dead and can no longer control her and she doesn't have to live in fear of Bobby anymore. However, Tom ended up killed and one can only imagine the amount of trauma Emma will have to work through once she returns to civilization. And that's not to mention whether or not the police will believe that she hasn't killed Tom, Jimmy or her husband.
- Black Dude Dies First: Downplayed. Technically, Mark is the first character to die, but he willingly kills himself as part of his revenge on Emma. Tom, a black man, is the first character to get outright murdered when Bobby stabs him to avoid witnesses.
- Blood Is the New Black: Emma spends the majority of the movie in Mark's blood-drenched shirt.
- Cellphones Are Useless: Emma tries to call for help after Mark kills himself, only to realize her phone is dead.
- Chekhov's Gun: The steel necklace Mark gifts Emma for their anniversary. Much to her horror, Emma finds she can't remove it later on in the lake house. And with good reason. The necklace contains incredibly valuable diamonds. And the only way to get them is to cut Emma's head off.
- Cover Drop: The poster depicts one of the last shots of the movie.
- Cruel and Unusual Death:
- Jimmy dies when Bobby accidentally impales him on a coat hanger.
- Bobby drowns after breaking through the ice and into the lake, with Mark's corpse dragging him down and his one good eye poked out by Emma in self-defense.
- Daylight Horror: The entire film takes place during the daytime. Downplayed, as the sky is perpetually overcast, giving everything a much more bleak and grey tone.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Emma cheated on Mark, so he forces her to watch as he kills himself, leaves her stranded and tied to his corpse at a remote location and, to top it all off, frames her for his murder and bails her old stalker out of prison to come and get her. Especially egregious since Mark was anything but faithful to her.
- Domestic Abuse: Mark is incredibly controlling towards Emma, down to her choice of clothing. When she shows up to their anniversary date in a dress he didn't pick, he just remarks they'll stop at their house so she can change. His intricate revenge plan also revolves around making sure Emma cannot be happy without him and that she'll never go back to living a normal life, by framing her for his murder and deliberately luring her old attacker Bobby to the lake house.
- Driven to Suicide: Mark's criminal dealings caused his career to decline. Finding out that Emma was cheating on him was pretty much the final straw (even though he was cheating on Emma as well). Him killing himself and everything he planned to happen afterwards was an especially petty final "fuck you" to Emma.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite threatening him a few times, Bobby genuinely loves his brother and is devastated when he accidentally kills him in a struggle with him and Emma.
- Evil Is Petty: Oh, petty doesn't even come close. Mark kills himself in front of Emma after he handcuffed himself to her, leaving her to literally drag his dead-weight around. When she sets about exploring the house, Emma discovers he also replaced all the happy pictures of them together in the lake house's dark room with pictures of her and Tom, just to rub it in her face that he knew about the affair, emptied the car of gasoline so she couldn't escape and cut the phone-line so she couldn't call for help either. And to make absolutely certain she wouldn't be able to get rid of him, he only put one bullet in the gun he used to kill himself and took away every tool in the shed that could have been used to cut the chain. To top it all off, he got rid of all her clothes and left her only one thing to wear: her wedding dress.
- Eye Scream: Emma damaged Bobby's left eye with her car keys when he attacked her years ago. She stabs him in the other eye at the end of the movie, so he lets go of her and can't drag her down into the water.
- Final Girl: Emma is the only one alive in the lake house at the end of the movie. Downplayed, as Emma is portrayed as very sexually active and not especially virtuous. Still, she's a lot more sympathetic than any of the other characters in the movie.
- Emma discovers the case file of her assault on Mark's desk before they leave for their anniversary dinner. It contains a picture of the assailant Bobby Ray and a brief description of Emma damaging his eye while fighting back. Bobby later shows up in the lake house, together with his younger brother to get revenge on Emma.
- When Emma and Mark leave the restaurant, Mark leaves the football tickets Emma got him as an anniversary gift behind. Well of course he does. He already knows he won't get to enjoy them.
- Hate Sink:
- Mark is an utterly loathesome egomaniac who is overly controlling towards Emma and pulls her into a sick revenge fantasy solely because he couldn't stand the idea that her life could go on and even be happier without him. Emma expresses nothing but contempt for him throughout the movie.
- Bobby Ray is a crazy stalker who attacked Emma years ago and hasn't stopped thinking about her since then. He is dead-set on getting revenge on her and is willing to kill an innocent bystander to achieve this goal. He also pulls his innocent younger brother into the whole affair by guilt-tripping him with their dead father and eventually ends up killing him when he tries to protect Emma. He also never takes responsibility for his own actions and instead blames everything bad that happens to him on Emma, who just wants him to leave her alone.
- Hypocrite: Mark cites Emma cheating on him as one of the reasons why he's doing all this horrible stuff to her. But, as Emma reveals to the audience during an angry breakdown, Mark regularly cheated on her long before the affair with Tom started and apparently didn't even bother hiding it, to the point that seeing lip-stick and glitter on his shirts was normal to her.
- It's All About Me: Mark is extremely selfish and controlling, making choices for Emma in every single aspect of her life, down to her choice of clothing, so she can be the perfect wife for him. When his career is abruptly ended due to his criminal affairs, he kills himself and forces his wife to literally drag his deadweight around. And while he goes out of his way to posthumously guilt-trip Emma for cheating on him, he apparently sees nothing wrong with his own numerous extramarital affairs.
- Minimalist Cast: There are only five main characters. One is mostly onscreen as a corpse. And two of them only enter the movie after he dies.
- Moral Myopia: See Hypocrite above. Mark thought Emma cheating on him warranted his revenge-driven Thanatos Gambit, when he himself frequently cheated on her and didn't even care to hide it.
- Never My Fault: Bobby absolutely refuses to take any responsibility for his actions, instead choosing to blame Emma for his life going downhill after he was sent to jail. Keep in mind the reason he was sent to prison was because he stabbed her. This attitude holds itself even when he kills Jimmy, which he for some reason also claims was Emma's fault.
- Snow Means Death: The main location of the film is Mark and Emma's lake house in the dead of winter. Not only does Mark commit suicide there, just about everyone who comes to the lake house during the plot ends up killed, with Emma being the only one left at the end of the movie.
- Sympathetic Adulterer: Emma is cheating on Mark with Tom, an employee of his, at the beginning of the movie. But seeing as she's obviously unhappy in the marriage with Mark, who is an abusive Control Freak, and even ends the affair before their anniversary, the viewer is unlikely to hold it against her. Especially since it's later revealed that Mark was doing the same thing and had been far less subtle about it.
- Taking You with Me:
- Mark's plan as a whole. When he realized both his career and marriage were close to over, he decided to not only kill himself, but ruin Emma's entire life while he was at it. Possibly so she would join him in death.
- Bobby tries this when he breaks into the lake and is dragged down by Mark's corpse. He attempts to pull Emma down with him, but she stabs him in his remaining good eye and escapes.
- Thanatos Gambit: Mark set up the entire trip as an elaborate revenge on Emma for cheating on him, starting by cuffing himself to her and then shooting himself so she'd literally never be free of him even in death.
- White Shirt of Death: Mark wears a white shirt when he shoots himself in the head. Naturally, it ends up splattered with his blood. Emma later on takes it for herself, in order to avoid wearing her wedding dress like Mark obviously intended her to.