She Dies Tomorrow: Film Review

She Dies Tomorrow

I have seen some amazing reviews for She Dies Tomorrow and I don’t agree with them at all. I found the movie frustrating, confusing, and super unsatisfying.

Amy Seimetz‘s new movie stars Kate Lyn Sheil as Amy, who becomes convinced that she is going to die the following day – and her delusions of death become contagious, with that fear, paranoia, and dread getting gradually more widespread.

I really liked this premise. I thought it was a strong and interesting idea, perfect for both comedy and a thriller/horror, but I couldn’t stand the way was told. Seimetz was more concerned with building an atmosphere and mood than satisfying the audience with answers. I was dying for a bit more about information about the psychological contagion, its origins, and why it happened, but hardly anything was explained, which was sooo frustrating.

I really struggled with the first 15-20 minutes, when we are just with Amy. The film was so experimental, surreal, and minimalist, with very little dialogue, that I had no idea what was heck was going on. I was worried the whole movie would be like that and I would never get into it, but it became less difficult to watch once more actors – like Jane Adams as Amy’s friend Jane and Chris Messina as Jane’s brother Jason – got involved and the delusion and hysteria started to spread. It was intriguing to a point and I appreciated any little crumb of information or context Seimetz decided to give us (and trust me, it’s not much). My view of the film improved in the middle, even though it was still weird and infuriatingly vague, because I had a sense of what was going on but then the ending just annoyed me. It offered us no answers, no clues, and that’s a surefire way to rile me up.

Seimetz never could have predicted that her film, which was inspired by her personal experiences with anxiety, would become so timely and relevant now. The theme of hysteria and paranoia spreading from person to person feels extremely apt. But I’m not knocking the idea – I loved the concept and I wish it was told in a more substantial way, one that made it clear what was going on and provided rounded characters (also played by the likes of Josh Lucas and Michelle Rodriguez), context, and answers.

Seimetz is clearly flexing her filmmaking muscles and experimenting with sound, light, and other technical aspects, and from the feedback I’ve seen, people really dig the atmosphere she’s created, but for me, it was too hollow, impressionistic and mysterious to be an effective or satisfying horror/thriller.

Available on Curzon Home Cinema and BFI Player and for Digital Download from Friday 28th August

Rating: 2/5

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