To Your Last Death uses animation as a vessel to bend multiple genres, but looks to horror in its plot of family-based fear.
Many great horror films center on the tragedies that befall the family unit, leading to great consequences (this year’s The Lodge is an excellent example). When filmmakers burrow into our own collective fears – whether the mortality of a parent or sibling, or the potential for a family member to have a psychotic break – they bring very raw and visceral emotions to the surface. To Your Last Death, an animated feature, is looking to instill that fear in viewers.
The plot brings a “Saw meets Groundhog Day meets Sci-Fi” twist to its family dynamic. Per the press release:
"“After emerging as the sole survivor in a deadly revenge game set up by her father to punish his children, Miriam receives an offer from a supernatural entity to go back in time and try again. Now, Miriam must survive both her father’s blood lust and the Gamemaster’s ever-changing rules to save her siblings as she relives the worst night of her life.“"
Current viewers may draw parallels to Happy Death Day and its sequel, but whereas those films took an absurdist comedic approach to fit comfortably within the parameters of a PG-13 rating, the blood-spattered images from To Your Last Death foretell a more hard-edged type of storytelling.
Based on the trailer, some dark humor can be extracted from this stylized exercise in survival horror and correcting the course of fate. The animation is slightly reminiscent of Archer, and perhaps director Jason Axinn and writers Tanya Klein and Jim Cirile are looking to take this story to extremes that would be difficult (if not impossible) in a live-action effort.
The voice cast features Dani Lennon alongside genre veterans Morena Baccarin (Firefly), Bill Moseley (3 from Hell), Ray Wise (Twin Peaks), and William Shatner. If the character development and storytelling is as good as the behind-the-scenes talent, To Your Last Death could be a refreshing new spin on family-based fear.
To Your Last Death is currently available on Digital HD and VOD platforms (iTunes, Amazon Video, and Vudu, among others) A Blu-ray release will be forthcoming on October 6 from Quiver Distribution.
Have you seen To Your Last Death? Let us know in the comments.