By: Jolie Featherstone
To Your Last Death is a high-tension trip in the line of recent genre-blending thrillers where a young woman cuts a swath through an army of those who would do her harm in a journey of survival and vindication. Think Ready or Not meets the Preacher graphic novel series, To Your Last Death throws a pacifistic activist into an ultimate death match where she must resort to a kill-or-be-killed mindset to survive.
Miriam (voiced by The Love Witch’s Dani Lennon) is the leader of a peace and non-violence advocacy organization who lives with the trauma of childhood abuse at the hands of her father. When her estranged father, an extremely powerful war profiteer, calls all of his children out of the blue and asks them to meet him at his office for a family meeting, Miriam refuses the invitation. Her boyfriend convinces her to go with the hope that her father could help her struggling organization. Little does she know that she’s walking into a deadly revenge plot orchestrated by her sadistic father to punish his children. After the first brutal family encounter, Miriam receives an offer from a supernatural source to go back in time and try to change the course of events. This opportunity, though potentially lifesaving, would force her to relive the horror – with an added layer of supernatural interference this time around.
Vibrant animation and impressively natural and sharp vocal performances, To Your Last Death will have you riveted. The film takes a few scenes to reach its stride but, when it does, it has the audience wholly wrapped into its bloody game with constantly moving goalposts, metaphorical trick doors, uncertain realities, and some…unusual…weapons.
The film has been a hit with the genre film festival crowd, taking home over 20 awards and quickly becoming an audience favourite. I suspect that success will continue with genre fans watching at home. The film could struggle to find its footing on streaming services/VOD with folks outside of the genre world, simply due to erroneous preconceived notions that some may have toward animated films. However, even those who are unsure of watching an animated slasher/thriller/dramedy should take the plunge. To Your Last Death is a thrilling ride that’ll keep you guessing, squirming, and ultimately intrigued.
TIP: Stick around through the credits for some bonus material.
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Jolie Featherstone: @TOFilmFiles