Any of you know who Amy Seimetz is? You should, she was dynamite in 2019’s Pet Sematary (one of the things that didn’t leave me feeling conflicted as hell). She has plenty of other great credits to her name, but I mention this one specifically because her salary went solely to funding a new directorial effort from her titled She Dies Tomorrow.
It’s pretty neat, might want to check it out.
She Dies Tomorrow tells the story of several individuals. Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil) is convinced she is going to die in the morning. She’s melodramatically rubbing her hardwood floors, listening to “Lacrymosa” on vinyl, and sipping white wine while she looks up urns online. After convincing her friend, Jane (Jane Adams) to swing by she tells her about her problem. Jane chastises her for a relapse into alcoholism and leaves. Shortly after this encounter Jane also begins to understand that she will die the next day. She goes to a party for her sister-in-law, Susan (Katie Aselton), which is also attended by her brother Jason (Chris Messina) and their couple-friends Tilly (Jennifer Kim) and Brian (Tunde Adebimpe) and greatly upsets everyone. They, too, begin to feel as though they’re going to die the next day.
Seimetz’s new film is about as hilariously ridiculous as it is frightening. There’s nothing as infectious as an idea (well, there is, but we’re talking the context of the film). Once it takes hold the idea burrows into your brain and takes hold, setting your whole outlook on life to take it into consideration. Amy is definitely experiencing a new idea taking hold, one that has presented itself in the minds of depressed people many times over. She simply believes, with all her heart, that she’s going to die. Many others follow suit and it’s a strange thing in how it affects them. Some experience a liberation, leaping in with both feet and indulging themselves in laughter and honesty and sexuality in ways they wouldn’t otherwise. Others experience extreme sadness and a loss of ability to properly function, alone and broken in a world that isn’t grasping what they’re going through unless they find companionship on the road to death.
Depression is an ugly concept, one that is hard to escape. Fatalism can sometimes go hand-in-hand with it, pushing people to accept nothing but defeat and nothing else. The idea can spread like a virus through a group of friends and that is the premise of She Dies Tomorrow. It’s delivered with the patience and humor of a good therapist, never biting and always ridiculous enough to make the medicine go down.
It helps that Seimetz has a phenomenal color palette going on. Red and blue lights, soft comfort colors in the homes, and even the ridiculousness of Jane’s jammies matching some of the patterns of the bacterial photography she works with. Everything works to keep this otherworldly phenomenon interesting to the eyes. The sound design is odd as well, from babies crying to audible sexual pleasure and even thundering noise. It’s all so wildly eclectic and I’m enamored with it all.
This isn’t going to sit well with some people. It touches on a lot of uncomfortable subject matter with good grace and a lot of humor. Some will take open offense to this, but I found it quite entertaining and it didn’t flinch at things that should really push my buttons. Instead I felt comforted just knowing that someone else was wrestling with these things and made a complete film to talk about it. It’s provocative and timely in a way that I’ve grown increasingly appreciative of. We should be able to talk and laugh about these kinds of things and I think we’re approaching that point, the major one where dealing with depression no longer exists wrapped in stigma.
She Dies Tomorrow is currently available to purchase or rent on all major streaming platforms that offer such things.