To Your Last Death aka Malevolent is a 2019 American animated horror film about a young woman who takes on her evil father and the powerful entity known as Gamemaster in order to save her siblings.
Directed by Jason Axinn from a screenplay co-written by Jim Cirile and Tanya C. Klein, the movie stars Morena Baccarin, William Shatner, Ray Wise, Damien C. Haas and Bill Moseley.
After emerging as the sole survivor in a deadly revenge game set up by her dying father to punish his four children, Miriam receives an offer from the Gamemaster, an otherworldly supernatural entity, to go back in time and try again.
However, the Gamemaster only entraps hapless humans into diabolical conflicts for her species to gamble on the outcome. So now Miriam must not only survive her father’s mania but also the Gamemaster’s ever-changing rules as she relives the worst night of her life…
” …To Your Last Death is a surprising horror-themed project that not enough people are talking about. Given its uniqueness, artistry, and dedication, the film is one that could eventually turn into a cult classic. Animated horror flicks are hard to come by and this one sets the bar pretty high with its art style. The story borrows some things from other films but does so tastefully and effectively.” Cinema Smack
“It’s an ambitious shot to call, but the result is an impressively alive graphic novel, with occasional flourishes of monochromatic style, that doesn’t quite look like anything else. To Your Last Death is a big swing in every sense, even if it commits the forgivable sin of doing too much in the process. That still makes it more hit than miss, and a one-of-a-kind mixtape worth listening to.” Crooked Marquee
“Crucially, the movie’s more domestic horrors are never played for laughs. Not that To Your Last Death isn’t funny. Its wicked sense of humor manifests in sight gags, absurdist dialogue, and claret-soaked scenarios that play out with all the carnivalesque glee of William Dozier’s 1960s Batman, albeit by way of The Belko Experiment’s corporate anarchy and the punk spirit of Metalocalypse.” Daily Dead
“A lot of gore ensues, as the grown-up children alternately fight each other, try to win their individual games, and bond in order to strike back at their monstrous father. It has many obvious comic-bookish elements, like the ridiculously revealing costume sported by the Gamemaster, and relies on broad strokes cackling villainy, but some thought has gone into the multiple versions of the players.” The Kim Newman Web Site
“Part Belko Experiment, part Saw with a dash of Twilight Zone and Groundhog Day. This movie is claustrophobic, bloody and oddly confusing at times. This story and universe they are trying to build seems promising but for me it just missed the mark. It feels disjointed.” Punch Drunk Critics
“Familiar? Yes. But it’s also a lot of fun. In addition to the Cheating Fate trope, there is plenty of the tricks and traps trope (Saw), office horror, revenge themes, and a bit of Jason and the Argonauts (Greek Gods meddling with humans) mixed in. Given all the recognizable themes, it still feels fresh.” The Scariest Things
“The concept is certainly interesting, but To Your Last Death falls short in the execution. Since Gamemaster can change any outcome at any time the characters have no real control over their fates. They also seem to have little control over themselves either […] If you’re looking for some gory set pieces and animated boobs then To Your Last Death should be just what you want. However, if you’re looking for a satisfying horror film it’s probably going to fall short.” Voices from the Balcony
“Stylized animation mutes the impact of the occasional extreme gore. Cartoon blood spatter and rolling heads don’t quite deliver the punctuation points they would in a realistic universe. That means the middle’s maybe not quite as intense as it might have been. The twists, character development and performances compensate quite a bit, however. ” Wicked Horror
To Your Last Death had its worldwide premiere at the 2019 Arrow Video FrightFest in London on 23rd August.
In the USA, Quiver Films is releasing the movie on Blu-ray on October 6th 2020. Order via Amazon.com
Cast and characters:
Morena Baccarin … Gamemaster (voice)
William Shatner … The Overseer (voice)
Ray Wise … Cyrus DeKalb (voice)
Damien C. Haas … Ethan DeKalb (voice)
Bill Moseley … Pavel (voice)
Benjamin Siemon … Collin DeKalb (voice)
Dani Lennon … Miriam DeKalb (voice)
Mark Whitten … Walt, Roaring 20s Gambler (voice)
Florence Hartigan … Kelsy DeKalb (voice)
Tom Lommel … Det. Lang, Roman Gambler (voice)
Paige Barnett … Victorian Gambler (voice)
Bill Millsap … Clay, Senator Thomas Otterman (voice)
Jim Cirile … Barbarian Gambler, Buzzcut Psychopath (voice)
Steve Geiger … Jurek (voice)
Tanya C. Klein … 80s Gambler (voice)