Film Review: "She Dies Tomorrow" Reminds Me Why I Love Movies
By Jalyn Mayer, August 1, 2020
Before covid-19 times hit, going to the movies was one of my favorite things to do. Despite the many platforms out there to watch films at home like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu content, I would always make time to hit the movie theater for a new flick at least 3 times a week.
I loved the feeling of being in the theater and watching the crowd's reaction; I loved how the movie could flood me with emotions that sometimes were overwhelming when I watched them. Like most art forms, movies have a certain power to inspire, transform, and most of all, allow us to feel. Sitting in the dark surrounded by strangers provided an escape from everyday life until mid-March when major movie theater chains, including Regal, AMC Theatres and Cinemark, shuttered their location doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
I didn’t think a digital movie could capture an authentic movie theater experience until I watched (writer-director) Amy Seimetz’s upcoming thriller “She Dies Tomorrow. ” The film stars Kate Lyn Sheil as Amy, a woman whose fearful delusions of her certain death become contagious to those around her.
Amy’s perfect life crumbles at the seams while a death curse infiltrates the surrounding community. Through its haunting visuals, thrilling score, the suspenseful horror builds a world that is impossible not to become lost in, a welcome and necessary diversion in today’s world.
Seimetz might be best known for her acting roles in films such as “Pet Sematary,” however she has quickly made a name for herself directing projects “Sun Don’t Shine” in 2011 and episodes of “The Girlfriend Experience” and “Atlanta.” With a determination not to be creatively stifled by a production company, Seimetz used her own paycheck from her role in Pet Sematary to completely self-fund She Dies Tomorrow. The move proved to be a worthwhile sacrifice, as every scene of this film has a strong, singular voice.
“All stories are about death to me. Carpe Diem, coming of age, sci-fi, horror obviously.... even love stories are about death. That may sound dark, but none of these moments would matter without the finite span of life. If we lived forever moments of choice would be a dime a dozen”- Amy Seimez
At first, Amy appears to be your average millennial. Pining over an ex-lover. Playing the same song over and over again. But, it’s soon clear that the messy, colored hair and trendy mini dress is a front for something far more sinister. When her close friend Jane (Jane Adams) arrives at her home, Amy shares her grim revelation that she will die tomorrow, setting off the domino effect that will plague every other character in the film. Amy and her friends' lives begin to unravel with a 24 hour deadline to live.
The film toes the line between fantastical and realistic, each scene more haunting than the last. Just when you think you’ve grasped the plot, it zigzags in a completely different direction. Punctuated by the Mondo Boys’ thrilling score, the film takes your attention hostage until the very last shot. You’re left wondering, are they the crazy ones? Or am I?
While the cast’s performance is wholly commendable, Jane Adams stands out as Jane, Amy's good friend. Adams' character slowly descends into madness as she realizes she, too, will die tomorrow. The Tony Award-winning actress convincingly illustrates this gradual comprehension on screen: it is impossible not to emphasize with her. She brings realism to the role, as if what's happening to her could just as easily happen to you too.
The film also stars Katie Aselton, Josh Lucas, Chris Messina, Tunde Adebimpe, Olivia Taylor Dudley, and Michelle Rodriguez.
“You know when you’re on the highway, you know, and then there’s a semi-truck up ahead of you and you know, I just have to speed up and get past that before something really bad happens. That’s what’s going on” - Jane, She Dies Tomorrow