She Dies Tomorrow
It feels odd to say anything benefits from coronavirus, but Amy Seimetz’s new movie, completed pre-Covid, is lent an added element of timeliness by being released in the midst of a pandemic. She Dies Tomorrow follows a group of people (among them Kate Lyn Sheil, Jane Adams and Chris Messina) who are infected one by one by the notion that they’re about to die, or at least they contract a disease that makes them say “I’m going to die tomorrow” over and over again. If you’re looking for a break from the tedium of lockdown, this probably isn’t it.
That’s about the extent of the narrative; there’s no further exploration of this infection or its implications. The characters simply sit around having mundane conversations about dolphin sex and wandering about in their pyjamas, which is about as relatable as the picture gets. The focus is on a painstaking, unsettling atmosphere – and there’s certainly a disconcerting quality to Seimetz’s improper pacing, paranoid framing and mumbled non-sequitur dialogue. Sadly, it never gets weird enough to make up for the lack of emotion, characterisation or incidents.
The premise is allegorically open-ended, concerning the spread not just of disease but of fears and ideas. But the singular concept is stretched so thin it becomes imperceptible, and by the tenth time that someone mutters “I’m going to die tomorrow” with the same piece of music on repeat, one can’t help but feel trolled. She Dies Tomorrow belongs to the subgenre of arthouse psychological horror alongside Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper and David Lowery’s A Ghost Story, where very little happens very slowly.
Some viewers might be drawn in by She Dies Tomorrow’s dreamlike atmosphere and deliberate ambiguity, but if we were all going to die tomorrow, the biggest question it raises is why we’d want to spend our limited time watching this.
She Dies Tomorrow is released digitally on demand on 28th August 2020.
Watch the trailer for She Dies Tomorrow here: