Amy Seimetz’s newest film She Dies Tomorrow is a challenging psychological horror film that gets under your skin because of its zeitgeist premise.
In some way, it feels like many filmmakers premeditated their work to be designed for 2020. Amy Seimetz’s newest film She Dies Tomorrow would have been a much-discussed entry for the year regardless of our current state of medical emergency. In the midst of the COVID pandemic, it’s perfect zeitgeist horror for 2020.
Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil) wakes up one morning in her newly purchased home. She is disoriented as we are. It slowly dawns on her this creeping suspicion that she is going to die tomorrow. Is this feeling supernatural? Is it an alien force at work? Is it a virus infecting her brain? Or is it all a ruse fostered by her failing sobriety. Unsure and emotionally fragile she reaches out to a friend Jane (Jane Adams) who she tells that she is going to die tomorrow. Jane wavers it off, more upset at Amy for beginning to drink again, and leaving Amy to “sober up”. Though now, Jane has that very same feeling that she may in fact die tomorrow.
The clever set up that leans heavily to the fertile ground Seimetz career has been filled with; complex dramas (as a director) and indie high-concept genre fair (as an actor). As a writer/director she melds the two folds of her career beautifully into She Dies Tomorrow. Part horror, part drama the film toes the line perfectly between the two halves. Seimetz’s movie is designed as a provocation. One that tests its characters’ social barriers much like how COVID has broken down many people’s social niceties and boundaries.
Those worried this is some exercise in genre style rest assured that Seimetz panache for characters is in full effect. The film relishes in the darkest of gallows humor. The joke that all of its characters are in the midst of crises beyond the infection has given them, these are exacerbated by the infection. Like the best films about viruses or infections, the scariest aspect is never the virus or infection plaguing the people, it is the people themselves.
She Dies Tomorrow is a level up in every way for Amy Seimetz. One can only hope that it’s not another eight years until she makes another feature film.