Amy Seimetz returns with her first feature as writer-director since 2012’s haunting debut Sun Don’t Shine. This absurdist piece, titled She Dies Tomorrow, sees a contagious anxiety about death spread rapidly, derailing the lives of a collection of people. This timely concept taps into contemporary anxieties about health, sensationalism, and mortality.
She Dies Tomorrow sees Amy’s (Kate Lyn Sheil) life derailed by the fixation that she will die tomorrow. When her friend Jane (Jane Adams) comes to help her from this emotional downwards spiral, she finds herself leaving with these contagious thoughts of imminent death. A ripple effect begins to spread affecting those within the circles of Amy and Jane.
Fear of death is something all humans face, but we are away to brush this away with life’s pleasant distractions – yet Seimetz poses the question, what if we weren’t? This contagious fixation with impending death is something that plagues the characters of She Dies Tomorrow – unable to move on from their mortality and convinced that it will happen tomorrow. Tonally Seimetz crafts a truly unsettling piece – characters dive into quiet desperate emotive spirals, begin to take on trance like states of contemplation, and begin to confront issues they have previously repressed. This is all interspersed with dark, hallucinogenic imagery captured from under microscopes showcasing the spread of this mysterious contagious virus.
She Dies Tomorrow undoubtedly straddles concepts found within the horror genre – yet ultimately serves as more unsettling than scary in its minimalist approach. Seimetz shoots the film with a quiet and intimate gaze, delving into the psyches and behaviours of this ensemble of characters who believe they are on death’s door. For example, couple Brian (Tunde Adebimpe) and Tilly (Jennifer Kim) discuss with a new sense of honesty that things have not been working with their relationship after expecting their deaths upon meeting Jane, whilst Amy finds straddles both the liberating and horrifying realisation that her expiration date is looming – deciding that she would like to be made into a leather jacket.
She Dies Tomorrow shines as a glimpse at the concept of collective panic and the sensationalism that so often triggers this. The analogy of the fixation of death being contagious shown in the infectious way in which it ripples throughout the film, feels like a timely analogy for the current climate and our pandemic obsessed psyches.
Seimetz crafts an intimate psychological examination of our relationship with death and the freedom to be found within embracing the inevitable. She Dies Tomorrow is a timely and unsettling picture that shines through its quiet, naturalistic gaze at contemporary anxieties.
Blue Finch Film Releasing presents She Dies Tomorrow on Curzon Home Cinema and Digital Download 28 August