Directed by Amy Seimetz
Written by Amy Seimetz
Starring Kate Lyn Sheil, Jane Adams, Chris Messina
By some sort of cosmic coincidence, Amy Seimetz’s existential tone poem She Dies Tomorrow is beaming into our homes during a global pandemic that has, undoubtedly, put the fear of death into the hearts and minds of the general population. As a result, Kate Lyn Sheil’s lead performance as Amy (a deliberate nod to Seimetz) is more relatable than ever. There’s a deeper, reflective spirit that Seimetz and her cast tap into here, making a deliciously simple premise seem a lot more profound.
Putting the dark in dark comedy, we first meet Amy in total isolation acting about as weird as most of us do when we’re alone. The only difference is, the universe has just whispered to her that she’s going to die…tomorrow. Whether this feeling of impending doom is a place card for anxiety or depression is debatable but, if 2020 has proven anything, that feeling of dread can be easily spread. (Just ask the sad-eyed dogs in those anti-depressant commercials longingly looking at their leash when their owner is too blue to get off the couch and take them for a walk). Once Jane Adams as “Jane” checks in on Amy, we find out for sure that the unmistakable knowledge that you’re going to die the next day is, in fact, contagious. Through a series of memorable cameos from the likes of Josh Lucas and Michelle Rodriguez, the fear of death spreads like a spark in the wind.
When that thanatophobic shot comes barreling down, it’s more psychedelic for some characters but downright fear gripping for others. The balance of the entire film is a little like that, actually. For anyone out there that’s ever done mushrooms, sometimes She Dies Tomorrow depicts what it’s like to stare at the stars in wonderment only to suddenly be terrified of the vastness of it all; other times, the characters show the deep-seeded internal bang of anxiety that comes out of nowhere and hits you like a pile of bricks.
She Dies Tomorrow definitely strikes that existential chord humming in all of us. What’s most interesting about it though is how the film shows the violent side of enlightenment and how people can process death in extraordinary and even hilarious ways. For such a head trip of a movie, it’s surprisingly funny at times. There’s a quiet sense of peace about the movie, especially by the time Michelle Rodriguez as “Sky” gets introduced laying poolside without a care in the world.
Maybe Porter Wagoner summed it up best when he sang:
“When life has ended, my time has run out
My friends and my loved ones, I’ll leave, there’s no doubt
But there’s one thing for certain, when it comes my time
I’ll leave this old world with a satisfied mind.”
She Dies Tomorrow is now playing in Drive-in theaters and will be available On Demand August 7th.
By the title, it may seem like She Dies Tomorrow is preparing you for an adventurous spy thriller but, actually, it immediately puts you in the headspace of the main character who truly and deeply feels like she is going to die tomorrow.