I like to call it vacation mode; sticking your toes into the hot sand of some exotic beach just sort of does something to you. You sleep late, drink early, fuck lazily, then murder your wife a little and toss her body in a shallow grave.
Last week I was saying that if you missed travel, why not escape to Iceland through the movies? This week let me tell you, if you miss travel, this movie right here will cure you of that notion right quick.
Christine (Maggie Q) and Neil (Luke Hemsworth) wake up on the morning of their last day in Thailand hungover, dirty, and confused. With no clear memory of how they came to be this way, they flip through photos on Neil’s camera and are surprised to find a two hour video detailing events neither has any memory of, ending in some pretty rough sex, and what appears to be strangulation. And not, like, a little light strangulation, but it appears that Neil kills his wife, digs a shallow grave, and dumps her body into it quite unceremoniously. Of course, that can’t be what happened, because Neil and Christine are both right here, watching the movie together, although with increasing dread and panic, in slightly unequal amounts. Come to think of it, Neil’s got dirt under his fingernails and Christine’s got a ring of bruises around her neck. When she starts vomiting earth, well, what the hell?
Attempting to reconstruct the night’s events uncovers deeper and darker secrets. They get sucked into the island’s veil of mystery, black magic, and murder; the next 24 hours before a ferry can be boarded are going to be extra, extra long, and pretty darn arduous. Paradise turns into a nightmare, but while this movie believes itself to be a horror, it’s a little lacking in execution, spoiling a promising premise. There are a few decent jump scares but clichés just don’t have the same power to scare you, and this movie relies on them pretty heavily – they’re the meat AND the potatoes. You’ll spend so much time trying to figure out what the heck is going on, you’ll not have time to be entertained by the film, let alone delightfully horrified by it. It’s a bit of a missed opportunity, but it’s rare for a murdered woman to be investigating her own murder while being pursued by murderers, so perhaps that’s reason enough for you to watch.