Taylor Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead demonstrates the importance of pacing in storytelling. The film immediately establishes its pace from the opening scene and builds from there. It adds to the narrative and enhances the plot. Some films get away with pacing issues if they have compelling stories. This film benefits two-fold with rhythmic pacing and a solid story. What results is a film that keeps you hooked and engaged from start to finish.
Hooked from the Start
The first scene of Those Who Wish Me Dead literally drops you into the film’s story. Rather than a slow build, the pacing shoots you out of a canon and gets your pulse up. The opening scene is visually action-packed, but the power lies in its placement. The scene opens immediately after the opening titles and intentionally startles you. It’s a preview of what to expect as the film progresses. While the film does an excellent job of keeping your pulse up, it does so without non-stop action. The film has an organic and rhythmic pace that ebbs and flows with constant underlying tension. That tension increases and builds up to the end and makes it impossible to turn away.
The plot of Those Who Wish Me Dead is unique. It features two prominent storylines that merge and create one cohesive narrative. While we do get a good sense of Hannah’s (Angelina Jolie) backstory, the film avoids excessive exposition and lets the audience piece things together. It allows the story to progress at a steady pace without getting too slow. Owen’s (Jake Weber) storyline is a good example. We only get a few essential details of his backstory, and the focus stays on the unfolding plot. Ultimately, Hannah and Owen’s son Connor (Finn Little) have to face new and old demons together. It’s all told in a combination of thriller, crime, and wilderness story.
If you’re looking for a compelling, addictive, and adrenaline-inducing story, Those Who Wish Me Dead checks the boxes.
Drew & El Toddo’s Rating:
Those Who Wish Me Dead is streaming on HBO Max now!