Why did the chicken cross the road? Does it even matter? The outcome will always be the same. He will inevitably get to the other side no matter the reason. Tell Me How I Die has a familiar foundation with some unique tweaks. It questions the subject of fate versus its counterpart, suggestion. If the chicken crossed the road to get to the other side, then does it follow it only to cross the road to meet the criteria given? What if it crossed the road to get to the stream a mile past the other side? Would the hypothesis still remain true? If the chicken was told this reasoning, would it stop short of its original goal of reaching the stream? These inferences, while confusing, are what is explored during Tell Me How I Die’s 107-minute runtime.
Following a group of test subjects, for the latest drug to enhance memory, it doesn’t take long for the side effects to make their eerie entrance. Anna, played by Virginia Gardner (Project Almanac), seems to have developed a rare side effect. She can see the future, more specifically she can see that not only are her fellow test subjects going to die but how they will meet their demise.
What works in this latest slasher? Tell Me How I Die does an amazing job at utilizing its gimmick. We are frequently thrust back and forth between the future and present timeline, without too much confusion. Considering the subject matter, I would like to give some kudos to the writers, James Hibberd, Rob Warren Thomas, and D.J. Viola. Coherence was something I was worried about after learning the plot. Luckily, that wasn’t an issue.
Tell Me How I Die also brings back the suspense to slasher films. Just because Anna sees how they die, she mostly just sees where it happens. This leaves a lot of room for interpretation not only for the unfortunate cast but also for us, as the viewers. It left me never feeling bored and always engaged with what was happening.
Can we talk about the kill scenes in this movie? While low on gore, the way this film offs its cast was cringe-worthy. It follows the theory: It’s not always the destination but how you get there. Even though most of the actual death itself is shown briefly, the lead-up is more than any horror fan could ask for. We need more movies from this film’s creators. They have the formula down to a T.
Let us get to the constructive criticism portion of this review. I have noticed a sad trend in today’s horror projects. We either have an indulgent first two-thirds of a film before a blowout conclusion or an amazing lead-up to a less than satisfying ending. Tell Me How I Die falls into the latter of the two. I obviously can’t give it away but don’t watch this movie to feel as if you have received a complete story. It is anti-climactic and leaves you with a very, “This is it?” feeling. I don’t feel as if it condemns the entire movie because as a whole I enjoyed it very much. I just hope that should this get a sequel, which it deserves, we get a more conclusive story.
Overall, Tell Me How I Die has all the elements to develop into a successful franchise. It’s straight-to-video release, hopefully, doesn’t hinder its ability to develop successful sequels. It is well worth the rental price and great for a quiet night, cuddled up with someone you love. If we had a star format, this film would get 4/5 stars. I was highly impressed and look forward to anything this team brings us in the future.