With this new foreboding flick, director Amy Seimetz shines a light on the fragility of life and certainty of death.
“She Dies Tomorrow” follows a group of people who encounter a mysterious entity that warns them of their impending death. The film excels in its visual and audio storytelling, conveying a heartbreaking yet terrifying experience.
One of the film’s most unique aspects is its flexible approach to showcasing its protagonists. While the film kicks off with Amy’s (Kate Lyn Sheil) unsettling experience, it proceeds to jump from character to character over the course of one day. This technique makes the film feel especially refreshing, as audiences aren’t stuck with one character for too long.
The mystery looming over “She Dies Tomorrow” is never really explained, aside from the fact that a supernatural force is convincing people that they will die the next day. This horrifying mindset spreads like a virus from character to character.
The visual style of Seimetz’s film is gorgeous. Cool-blue-toned interiors are sharply contrasted with vibrantly colored lighting effects. The narrative of the film travels to a variety of unique locations, from a glowing basement laboratory to a modern art deco living room. Occasional atmospheric sequences are abruptly interrupted by imagery of microscopic bacteria set to opera music. It’s an eerie and beautiful juxtaposition of color schemes and audio.
The entirety of “She Dies Tomorrow” is consumed by this mysterious, oppressive force. It lingers over the locations and characters, turning everyday situations, such as an evening birthday party, into paranoid nightmares. The shift in each character after witnessing the strange entity is tragic and solemn. Eclectic and talkative characters like Katie Aselton’s Susan become introverted and drained. The knowledge of knowing the end of their life is around the corner is overwhelming and impossible to process for these characters. In a way, these people begin to grieve for themselves, and each one handles it differently.
While “She Dies Tomorrow” doesn’t showcase gnarly ghouls or demonic spirits, it certainly knows how to spook its viewers. Twisted sound design haunts the film's atmosphere through distorted baby cries, wretched screams and muffled voices from the beyond. Dreary shadows and blood-covered imagery add elements of horror to the cross-genre film.
“She Dies Tomorrow” is an extremely foreboding and haunting film. It perplexes the audience just as much as its characters, luring both to be consumed by the overall mystery. While the majority of the film is an enjoyable and unsettling ride, it doesn’t exactly know how to cap off its storytelling in a satisfying way. Towards its final moments, it lingers around in its mysterious questions and leaves viewers wondering what will become of the characters. It’s understandable that such a subtle narrative would want to uphold its depiction of the unknown, but many may feel as if the dreary slow burn isn’t worthwhile in the end and leave the film wanting more.
Overall, Amy Seimetz’s haunting genre entry is worthwhile for its chilling atmosphere alone despite its lackluster conclusion.
3.5 distorted baby cries out of 5