She Dies Tomorrow

The title She Dies Tomorrow refers to a line spoken by the film’s lead character Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil) to her sister Jane (Jane Adams) early on in the movie.  Jane shrugs it off, but then slowly becomes obsessed by the possibility that she too could die tomorrow.  She goes to a birthday party where she passes on her distressed theory to a group of four (Chris Messina, Katie Aselton, Jennifer Kim, and Tunde Adebimpe), which continues the chain of worrying and paranoia.

She Dies Tomorrow is supposed to be an ethereal thriller about the power of suggestion, which is a really unsettling concept.  Especially, considering the film is coincidentally being released during a sensitive time where depressing thoughts and vulnerable emotions are running high.  But, I think writer/director Amy Seimetz has missed the mark.  Aside from the baggy filmmaking that indulges in arthouse qualities, She Dies Tomorrow comes across as a selfish slow burn about how an individual’s anxiety can be inconvenient, even detrimental, to those around her.  The film hasn’t been made maliciously because I truly believe Seimetz is interested in Amy’s downward spiral.  But, the film lacks intelligence and consideration.  Seimetz hasn’t fully thought out this premise and she ignores obvious, possibly dangerous, angles that the audience could read into.  If I interpreted her film incorrectly, my point is proven.

Seimetz also makes a mistake by crossing over different genres.  The film has been billed as a dark comedy, which I don’t understand.  Maybe because Jane’s appearance at the birthday party sours the mood so much, the audience laughs out of discomfort.  But given the absence of compassion in She Dies Tomorrow, it’s gravely problematic to label scenes as comedic. 

The most prominent vibes, however, lean towards science fiction.  As each person becomes obsessed about their fate, they become hypnotized by a cascade of colour.  They gaze into the camera with sombreness and accept their newfound misery.  This visual reminded me of 2020’s Color Out of Space, a great sci-fi flick that commits to its creative ideas and directorial decisions with assurance.  When compared to that movie, She Dies Tomorrow undoubtably chokes on its own wishy-washy ambition and self-importance.


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