Editor’s Note: There are extensive flashy/strobe-like sequences throughout SHE DIES TOMORROW. If you have a sensitivity, proceed with caution.
When living through the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to already picture the inevitable and cringe-inducing future in which movies will be made about this moment in history. There will be social distancing based rom-coms and political thrillers and horror takes, like Corona Zombies (yes, the film already exists). What none of these hypothetical future films will be able to create is the current heaviness of living in this time. Regardless of where you are in your own experience with the pandemic, there is a haze that is hanging over the world. It’s a special kind of misery. Future movies will attempt to tap into this feeling and recreate, none will come as close as SHE DIES TOMORROW has come.
SHE DIES TOMORROW is written and directed by Amy Seimetz (Pet Sematary) and stars Kate Lyn Sheil and Jane Adams, with Chris Messina, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jennifer Kim. In SHE DIES TOMORROW, a young woman named Amy wakes up one day utterly convinced that she will die tomorrow. With the fear of death hanging over her, Amy’s life begins to slowly unravel as she tries to prepare for the end. Her delusions of certain death are contagious to those around her and each of Amy’s loved ones spirals off into their own descent into insanity and despair.
SHE DIES TOMORROW is a rare type of film that has the power to instantly grab you and then linger with you, long after the credits roll. The film is stunningly beautiful, made up of striking and almost disorienting cinematography. It’s easily one of the better-looking films you will see this year.
However, despite all that beauty, the film is unsettling to watch. SHE DIES TOMORROW is intentionally jarring and rips the viewer out of their seat and sits them in a state of persistent discomfort. The beautiful shots and colors begin to overwhelm and disorient. There is a bleak note that carries throughout the entire film, only adding to the viewer’s discomfort. Conversations of death are by their very nature uncomfortable and disturbing.
SHE DIES TOMORROW is oversaturated in that distasteful notion, not in the sense that it shoves death down your throat rather it soaks into the mind and the senses and rests there. Pessimism and melodrama wash over every aspect of the film and the viewer. It’s an exercise in misery. As far as film viewing experiences, this makes SHE DIES TOMORROW incredibly powerful and unique.
As mentioned at the outset, SHE DIES TOMORROW is exactly the film to understand the shadow that is cast by the coronavirus pandemic. The film has a meandering, hopeless quality that feels familiar. It is the same bleak wandering that many of us are doing, as we’re quarantined within our homes. Just as in the film, the 2020 audience member is living under a shadow of looming death and threatening doom.
According to director Amy Seimetz, all stories are stories of death. Even a film as light as a romantic comedy is a story of life lived, but death on the horizon. Her fascination with ideological contagion was a catalyst in the creation of SHE DIES TOMORROW and it is this aspect of the film that most securely grounds it in the current moment. Despair, hopelessness, and paranoia are as infectious as any disease. Theories and troublesome news cycles and personal anxieties are catching and debilitating. By design, SHE DIES TOMORROW speaks to the fear of death and the dread that rules us. By chance and by brilliance, SHE DIES TOMORROW is shaping up to be the defining piece of the COVID-19 era of film.
SHE DIES TOMORROW is the loveliest kind of misery. Some of the most beautiful and captivating cinematography in recent memory and only made more powerful by the significant weight of the project. This is a film that seeps into your bones and leaves you with a chill you just can’t shake.
SHE DIES TOMORROW is available in select drive-in theaters and will be available On Demand on August 7, 2020.