Horror Movie ‘Death of Me’ Would Have Had More Monsters If Not For These Problems

Director Darren Lynn Bousman has a lot of experience with horror films. He directed Saw II, III and IV and returned for the upcoming Spiral. Between Repo! The Genetic Opera, The Devil’s Carnival, Abattoir, Mother’s Day, St. Agatha and more, Bousman knows his way around horror. His new film, Death of Me posed challenges that kept some of his monsters out of the movie. 

Horror movie Death of Me
Maggie Q | Saban Films

Bousman spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone about making Death of Me. The film is now available in select theaters, digital and VOD.

Filming the horror movie ‘Death of Me’ in Thailand

Death of Me is about a couple (Maggie Q and Luke Hemsworth) whose vacation in Thailand turns into a nightmare. Filming on location in Thailand posed some new challenges for Bousman.

Death of Me director Darren Lynn Bousman
Darren Lynn Bousman (center) | Saban Films

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The people there were amazing, the location was amazing, that was top notch. This was a really quick shoot. I want to say that we prepped for two weeks and then the shoot was around 20 days, 21 days. It was, in a lot of respects, probably the most guerilla style shoot that I’ve done in a long time. It was challenging. There were things that I wasn’t prepared for. Unlike Los Angeles or Toronto, when you need something, you say, ‘I need X, Y and Z’ and it’s there a couple of hours later. When you’re in Krabi and you say you need a 20 foot, 30 foot, 60 foot crane, it’s not coming that quickly.

Darren Lynn Bousman, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 9/22/2020

The horror of heat and humidity

Conditions in Thailand also make traditional monster makeup unfeasible. When you’re in an air conditioned studio, you don’t have to worry about keeping the makeup on.

Death of Me: Maggie Q
Maggie Q | Saban Films

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“One of the other things was the humidity and heat which affected things quite a bit due to the sweating that would happen,” Bousman said. “We had a lot of prosthetic effects that we had planned but you would spend hours in the makeup chair, you’d get out into the scene and they would jus sweat off five minutes later. That was something we had to think on our feet a lot because things were just not applying the way that we thought they were supposed to.”

‘Death of Me’ lost these creatures too

The vacationing couple runs afoul of supernatural forces on an island off Thailand. Some of the ways those forces manifested weren’t possible to capture on film. There are plenty of creepy scares in Death of Me, but these were casualties.

“The witch looking things, the creatures with no eyes or mouth or nose, that was a whole thing that we weren’t able to do,” Bousman said. “The original idea they were supposed to run and leap and be contortionists, but they were wearing these silicon masks that welded to their face. We were going to put these masks on. They were going to be way out of focus always in the background, never really featured but they were there [but] they were these presences. They were supposed to move weird and be weird.”

The masks were an idea to avoid having makeup melt off, but they posed new problems. 

Death of Me: Darren Lynn Bousman
Darren Lynn Bousman (center) and Maggie Q (right) | Saban Films

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It was so hot and it was so claustrophobic in these masks that the people who put them on could only keep them on for about three minutes. Three minutes is still a long time but not when there’s only one makeup team. We’re a low budget film. So you get one mask on. You have two more to put on and by the time the third mask is on, the person who got the first mask on wants it off and is freaking out. Those whole things got dwindled down to literally cameos in the movie. They were supposed to be a lot bigger in the film and they ended up getting whittled down because we just could not shoot them.

Darren Lynn Bousman, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 9/22/2020