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‘She Dies Tomorrow’ Turns Contagion Thriller Into Experimental, Hypnotic Nightmare’

 

Author/director Amy Seimetz couldn’t have anticipated that her movie about contagious worry would launch amidst a pandemic. Nonetheless, it’s arduous to dismiss the unusually prescient layer our present world occasions lends to her sophomore effort. The truth is that Seimetz’s complicated temper piece provides a number of reads that might apply to any scenario or setting; worry spreads simply irrespective of the social local weather. Notably the worry of dying. Favoring emotion and existential dread over a extra typical narrative, nonetheless, means She Dies Tomorrow is assured to be divisive.

Kate Lyn Shel (V/H/S, The Sacrament) stars as Amy, a girl whose life begins to unravel when she wakes up one morning, satisfied that she’s going to die the following day. She confesses this to her visiting good friend Jane (Jane Adams), who initially blows it off as a delusion attributable to an alcoholic relapse. Quickly sufficient, Jane finds herself unable to shake the sinking feeling that she’s caught Amy’s affliction, inflicting an existential spiral. As Jane encounters household and pals, this mysterious affliction spreads, creating an odd net of dread, anxiousness, insanity, and even somewhat physique horror.

Seimetz captures the sensation of dread by making use of a dream logic, each narratively and visually. There are huge stretches devoid of dialogue, and the main target bounces round from individual to individual because the worry spreads. Time ceases to make sense, and hypnotic colours and visuals maintain each the characters and the viewer in its sway. All of which to say, the plot doesn’t actually exist right here. Seimetz goes for temper and feeling with laser focus, utilizing an nearly Lynchian aesthetic to attain it.

That signifies that the horror doesn’t come from typical strategies, however extra within the eerie tone and nightmarish visuals. Furthermore, the drama and pitch-black humor make categorizing this movie an arduous job. That, and the not so accessible story, signifies that this film will doubtless be off-putting to these searching for one thing extra simple and definable.

It’s an audacious idea, and Seimetz confidently executes it with a singular imaginative and prescient. Unraveling like a sequence of fragmented items, a lot of it like passing by means of an odd haze, count on no simple solutions. If in any respect. This isn’t a few illness or viral unfold, however as a substitute how people grapple with the concept of imminent dying. Suppose extra experimental character research than outbreak horror. For Amy, she opts to dwell life to the fullest, take a look at driving dune buggies, and connecting with one other human (Adam Wingard). For Jane, it’s an try to reconnect with estranged household. For others, relationships are examined, and violence provides unusual consolation. All of it advised by means of the grip of dreamlike trepidation. The impressively stacked forged absolutely commits.

She Dies Tomorrow applies lofty ambition to a minimalist plot, favoring hallucinogenic philosophy over a tangible narrative. It’s a stunning movie meant to clean over you in hypnotic visuals, however it isn’t simple to attach the dots as soon as it’s throughout. It’s a weird puzzle of a film, and Seimetz has tossed out the rulebook in making a textured temper piece that confounds as a lot because it mesmerizes. Or, should you’re not on the movie’s avant-garde wavelength, solely confuse. Is it horror? Probably not, although it’s a style bender that captures the sensation of worry and dread fairly effectively. Seimetz has already made a reputation for herself within the horror realm as an actress with notable roles in movies like You’re Subsequent, Alien: Covenant, and Pet Sematary, however her directorial efforts are shortly marking her as somebody to look at.

She Dies Tomorrow releases in Drive-In theaters on July 31, and On Demand all over the place on August 7, 2020.

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