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She Dies Tomorrow

Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil) calls up her friend Jane and needs to see her; when Susan finally does come over, Amy tells her that she is going to die tomorrow. Susan just chalks it up to drinking relapse, but when she gets home, she hears voices and also believes she is going to die tomorrow. The thought that the person will die tomorrow spreads like a virus – a psychological virus. At one hour and 24 minutes, the screenplay is pretty tight and is paced quickly. One the one hand, this is a sort-of horror film permeated with spookiness and with little blood. On the other, it is this rather interesting exploration of how we might react to knowing our death is coming sooner than we imagine: having conversations that we have avoided; seeing to the small details of life that we failed to attend to;  realizing what is important to us. The acting is solid, especially from Sheil, who is spooky and odd and reflects the joys and regrets of her life through flashbacks on the times leading up to what seems to be the person/event that started it all. I loved the jarring score, and the camerawork and coloring are fantastic; in many places, it felt a bit David Lynch in its dream-like quality. The beginning is particularly well done; there are scenes of her Amy wandering around her new home, clearly disoriented, but shot in a way that is immediately disorienting. Overall, I found the film to be unusual, fascinating in its storytelling, solid in its technical skill, spooky, and psychologically intense – I sometimes only get to watch ½ a film each night, but this one I could not turn off. It gets a big thumb’s up from me. (2020; 4 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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