To Your Last Death Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
So, I sat back. Thumbing through various streaming services looking for something a little different. Having the desire to watch an animated movie, since it has been a while since I watched one, and came across quite a selection to select from. Stumbling upon To Your Last Breath. With a short synopsis and a trailer, knew I couldn’t pass it up. Let’s not waste time and dive right into this animated horror film.
We open up with a cityscape and zoom in to a blood soaked woman brandishing an axe. A bit of comic book style with panel jumps as she walks a long. Two people are talking about if this was good enough, while the woman is being confronted and arrested by the police. Screaming that he killed her family. We get a bit of narration about the vast space between stars, and a game beginning, and to Miriam. That she saw true horror, but the only way back to the light, was through the abyss. Currently, Miriam is in a hospital bed. Telling her story to a detective who isn’t really believing her story. That is she knew her Dad was such a bad person, why would she come back and we flashback three days previously. Where she is talking to a group about Worldreach on her group, PANAC (Peace And Non-Violence Action Committee.) Who are not interested in what she has to say, and her group is hemorrhaging money. Her Father Cyrus is trying to get ahold of her, but she doesn’t answer right away. Calling him a war profiteer and extremely abusive to her mother. We find out that he is inviting her to a family reunion and thanks to her significant other, Wally, she goes to see what he wants. Meeting her two Brothers and Sister in the lobby and they are clearly estranged. After giving up their phones, they are taken upstairs where Cyrus awaits. Informing them that he has inoperable brain tumor, and has six months at the most, and situation turns bad. Sentencing them all to death for his perceived offensive, and the fact they stopped him from being Vice-President. She manages to get the jump on her capturer, by knocking him down the elevator shaft, and we jump back to the hospital room. The Detective informs her that her Father says that he did call a Family Reunion, but Miriam is the one who attacked them. To collect his money and off her meds. Detective leaves and a women appears. Giving her a chance to go back and fix it. That she would give her the ability to go back in time, with the foreknowledge of what will happen and see if she can get a new outcome. Laying out the three rules. Rule 1: Must keep it amusing. Rule 2: Her Associates can stop and ask for a replay or foul, but she has the final say. Rule 3: She can interfere if she is not satisfied with how things are occuring. Making it clear that she is not on anyone’s side. Leaving her with a mark on her hand, that will take her back when she slides her finger across it, if she decides to play the game. After Miriam tries and fails to escape. She engages the mark and travels back to her entering her Dad’s Building, starting the game and where I will leave off.
This is such a great story. This takes a lot of great elements from horror genres and welds them together in a wonderfully, blood soaked fashion. Cyrus is a brutal villain, concocting torture traps that you aren’t getting out of. They are made to torture each sibling till they die. Never knowing what side the Gamemaster stands on, but keeps you in suspense, because just because Miriam gets a win, doesn’t mean it’ll stand and constant change in not only directions, but people’s moods change as well due to the changing of situations. Writers, Jim Cirile and Tanya C. Klein and Director, Jason Axinn, weaved a great story. Blending horror and heart and when it was time. Change everything on its head in a smart way.
I loved the 2-D Animation style they used here. Utilizing it to its fullest. Starting with the gory deaths and dismemberments that would look cheezy in a live action film. Bringing the characters to life in their facials and body language. Highlighting Miriam’s fear and sadness to when she finally had enough and went on the attack. Showing how evil Cyrus is at almost every moment he is on the screen. Enjoyed the black and white style they used here and there. A spectacular job from the animators.
The characters of Miriam and the Gamemaster are some really strong, great characters in each of their own ways. Miriam starts out as a woman living on the a thin line, who so desperately wants to be this great activists but her group is spiraling out of control. She wants to be a good sister, but so much bad in her past and doesn’t know how to make that better and than you get everything she is facing. You root her on and want her to see her pull off the miracle and cheer her on when she finally snaps. Then the Gamemaster was handled so well. Keeping her impartial was the perfect way to go. Would be so easy to have her swing her favor toward Miriam at the end, but she doesn’t. Said it at the start, that she wasn’t on anyone’s side and meant it and was better off for it.
A major plus for the fact that they also kept her and her Associates a secret. Don’t know anything except she is an All-Powerful being that can seemingly do anything. Leaves you guessing and wanting more, and with how it ended. Would love to see more from this world. Even Miriam.
Voice Actors all did great. If anyone is off, could throw an entire scene off, but they all did a great job at bringing the characters to life. Morena Baccarin was a tremendous as the powerful, mysterious Gamemaster. Dani Lennon was perfect as Miriam. Bringing out every once of emotion she can get. Ray Wise did great at building Cyrus as this monstrous foil that we want Miriam to kill by the end. Got a bit of a chuckle when I heard William Shatner doing narration, but he did a good job at it. Keeping a steady pace and kept them short and sweet.
This was a thrilling ride of horror film. Loaded with gore and tense moments throughout. You have a strong female lead, well planned villain, and mysterious puppeteers that genuinely keep you guessing throughout, because of her constant changes and meddling. Giving this an S Grade, and strongly suggest giving this one a watch.
As always, hope you enjoyed reading and as always…
Thank You For Reading.