- Movie Rating -

She Dies Tomorrow (2020)

| December 12, 2020

Some time after I finished watching Amy Seimetz’s odd thriller She Dies Tomorrow a friend of mine casually asked, “Did you like it?”  Acting on pure instinct I said, “No.  But I admired it.”

I know that sounds like a half compliment but it really is true.  I didn’t enjoy the experience but I sat there grateful for the challenge.  Seimetz is obviously not out to curry my favor.  She has a story to tell, an idea to relate and she wants to do that on her own terms.  If I missed the entire point then that’s my problem.

The idea is a clever one.  Can a simple suggestion be so infectious as to be deadly?  That idea is brought about by Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil) who, as the movie opens, is in her apartment going about the kinds of tasks that you might associate with someone who is about to commit suicide.  She makes strange, cryptic phone calls to her best friend, shops for urns online and wears the panicked mask of a person whose final hours are ticking away.

Amy’s point of sanity is her bestie Jane who jumps to the logical conclusion that her friend is thinking of ending it all.  As she tries to gather other friends to try and calm Amy down, she finds that she is infected with the same suggestion.  Jane becomes just as paranoid herself, and then the suggestion begins to infect her circle of friends in various ways.

I know, this sounds stupid – a deadly suggestion – but the way that this idea is put into play is really quite clever.  Seimetz doesn’t make a massive effort to explain the story with heaping gobs  of exposition.  It is the idea that is key.  It is not really important how or why Amy is going to meet her end, but rather the atmosphere that her differing levels of her approaching death affect those around her.  Something is in the air, and her dread begins to affect those in her immediate circle.

It is hard to pin down the exact details.  This is not a movie that goes from left to right.  There’s no villain here, no mad slasher or ghost-in-the-walls waiting to spoil the party.  Scenes are shown out of order so that something we witness is explained in a flashback later.  There is clipped dialogue, interspersing shots of things that, at first, make no sense.  Only when it is over thinking back on the movie do we really understand it as a whole.

As I said, She Dies Tomorrow is a challenge, and one that is perfectly potent for your paranoid times.  It’s not for everyone, and I’ll admit that even I am having trouble sorting it out.  But, like Seimetz’s previous thriller Upstream Color, it isn’t really about the story, but the experience.  I can’t say that I enjoyed the journey, but I appreciated the challenge.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2020) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized