Movie Review: She Dies Tomorrow
While never quite subscribing to the arthouse action blend, even I would be a fool to admit there are no merits to this amalgamation. Crashing the thick, meandering cameras and visual flair with the adamant, burly explosions of the finest action films around was certainly a worthwhile experience in the case of visual melting pot Mandy or tightly-directed, thematic-driven western Dead Man. To take these prospects and tie them to the thriller genre and mix in a little horror, is to go in the other direction. We move away from the madness of the combustible, gun-toting violence and move into a scene dominated by Climax, Green Room, and, if we look at arthouse alone, A Ghost Story. With She Dies Tomorrow, there is an understanding of serious artistic integrity, paired with a story that cannot support its claim to exceptional craft.
Gripped by the fear that she will die tomorrow, Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil) rapidly spirals into emotional turmoil and terrified pleadings with her newfound mortality. Director Amy Seimetz has much to work with, her stylish, colourful flair behind the camera should, at the very least, provide a nice backdrop to the drab or delightful experiences that can potentially unfold. A mixed bag indeed, She Dies Tomorrow gets to grips with some of its shorter narrative sparks, yet is unable to make ends meet when attempting to layer these into its running topic of discussion. A shame, really, considering the variety of darker themes that ruminate, and they would do well to stick on the mind had they been presented with real conviction or alertness.
Had Seimetz shown more than her artistic flair, then She Dies Tomorrow could have been a relatively compelling piece. It bodes well to remember that the artistry is only as good as the script it brings to life, and that is where this film falls to pieces. Considering her prominence in the writing department as well as directing, it is clear to see where the focus of Seimetz lies. A film that looks accessible and entertaining is not the same as an understandable and engaging one. Where the characters are underwhelming and the ethical conundrums are half baked, there is a slim chance that She Dies Tomorrow can make do with its fleeting lead protagonist.
As we all come to terms with our temperance, it is rather egregious to see that She Dies Tomorrow does little with such a strong and interesting story. Had this been a slow-burning thriller, rather than an unfocused cacophony of sounds, ideas and noises, then perhaps it would have been a stronger piece. In its current state, though, She Dies Tomorrow is an amalgamation of interesting themes, but lacks the variety and unique voice necessary to lead it to pastures new. It misses the mark of its message, and the entertainment factor can hardly make up for the ground it loses.