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“She Dies Tomorrow” Will Prove Impossible To Shake

There isn’t anything else even close to She Dies Tomorrow out there. That sort of comment is bandied about in independent cinema a lot, especially when something is a little bit unique. This week’s high profile indie in She Dies Tomorrow, however, is the real deal. Not only is the premise wholly singular and unlike anything you’ve seen before, its execution is just as one of a kind. Filmmaker Amy Seimetz has absolutely knocked this one out of the park, crafting a genre-defying flick that will leave you equal parts confused, shaken, and blown away. It’s kind of a must-see, for that alone.

The film is a psychological horror/thriller/comedy/drama (for real), with a hell of a central concept. What if you just got the notion that you were about to die? For Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil), that’s just what happens. She wakes up and can’t shake the feeling that this is her last night alive. Tomorrow, she’s going to be dead. She doesn’t know how and she doesn’t know why, but she’s certain that it will happen. Of course, this delusion unravels her life, unsettling not just her, but her friend Jane (Jane Adams), who comes over to settle her. Instead, she goes from being frustrated by Amy’s conviction of certain death to infected by the same thought. From there, she begins infecting others, with everyone reacting differently. To say more would spoil how it all turns out, but nothing goes as you might expect, if you even could have an expectation for a work like this. Seimetz writes and directs, with cinematography from Jay Keitel, as well as music from Mondo Boys. Supporting players include Tunde Adebimpe, Katie Aselton, Kentucker Audley, Jennifer Kim, Josh Lucas, Chris Messina, Michelle Rodriguez, Adam Wingard, and more.

Even if the movie is a bit impenetrable at times, it’s always compelling and strangely hypnotic. Despite being out there, it has a universal relatability that’s truly timely here in 2020. Amy Seimetz obviously couldn’t have known the pandemic was coming, but it manages to be of the moment and timely in a manner that’s staggering. The feeling of being lost and at an end, while still very much alive, is something all of us stuck in isolation and/or quarantine understood, and it’s present here. The cast are mostly vessels for this idea of hers, but it works, despite some very unusual choices by Seimetz, who’s clearly more interested in depicting what this idea feels like than what it would cinematically be like.

She Dies Tomorrow is impossible to shake, that’s for sure. Seimetz uses colors and sounds in place of action, so it might prove too slow for some, despite an 84 minute running time. Once you get on her wavelength, you just sort of go along for the ride. Jane Adams, Kate Lyn Sheil, and company all depict the delusion in different ways, with some of the small players even opting for slightly more comedic takes, but it’s never anything less than compelling. Whether it’s feeling funny, sad, scary, weird, or all of the above, the movable tone really does work for this material.

This weekend, anyone looking to be challenged and have their mind really engaged would do well to seek out She Dies Tomorrow. A traditional narrative, this is not, but if you’re willing to go along with it, what Amy Seimetz has come up with is deeply unsettling, ungodly timely, and well worth a shot. Love it or hate it, the movie will certainly stay with you, and that says something. Personally, I really liked it, but your mileage may vary. Regardless, give it a chance.

Be sure to check out She Dies Tomorrow, available to watch on Friday!

(Photos courtesy of NEON)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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