If a seesaw was finely balanced with ‘morals’ on one side and ‘fame’ on the other then ‘Reality TV’ would be the huge ten-tonne elephant that would crush the morals side with brute force sending fame skyrocketing into the atmosphere. This Is Your Death brings an eye-opening social commentary to the table that is dark, intriguing and unique.
The film tells the story of Adam Rogers (Josh Duhamel), Adam is the host of a reality show that suffers an on-air crisis when a contestant kills a man during the shows live finale before taking her own life. After network ratings soar the show’s producers have another show planned in mind. A reality show in which contestants kill themselves live on-air with their family getting a monetary contribution after their sacrifice. Adam goes through varied emotions before agreeing to host the show with the idea to frame the show as an appreciation of life. But as the show gets more and more popular and the stakes get higher and higher, Adam finds himself drifting away from his own morals in search of fame, fortune and ratings.
A film that can be dissected in various different ways. I personally enjoyed This Is Your Death but I have read other reviews that vary. Our addiction to Reality TV, our brains programmed like TV watching robots craving the next big thing to watch. Each time taking things a step further than the last to keep audience interest. Whilst reflecting on ourselves as an audience This Is Your Death also dwells into the dark, sadistic and manipulative media/show runners as they go all out to rake in fame, fortune and achieve those all-important ratings. The media is portrayed with a Nightcrawler style sinister vibe.
This Is Your Death is incredibly well cast. We have Josh Duhamel playing our TV personality, Sarah Wayne Callies who plays his troubled sister, Director and star Giancarlo Esposito plays Mason, a man who wants to help bring money to his family by any means necessary and finally we have Famke Janssen who plays Ilana the cold and calculating production executive. Her character is a carbon copy personality replica of Rene Russo’s character in Nightcrawler.
With a few twists and turns and eye-opening social commentary, This Is Your Death was an interesting watch and I was taken aback when James Franco just randomly popped up as a random morning-show host. I Instantly got hilarious flashbacks to his role as Dave Skylark in the movie The Interview.
People may look too deeply into this movie and the material being displayed here, but from a horror loving fan as myself, it was a refreshing change of pace. Something a little out there and open to varied speculation. A film that makes you reflect on your own behaviour as well as making you think about the wider picture. The only issue for me personally throughout the movie was a rather contradictory ending as a fickle audience changes behaviour. But hey, who am I to question a reality TV audience demographic?
I liked it. I really, really did.