She Dies Tomorrow (2020)

She Dies Tomorrow
Director: Amy Seimetz
Writer: Amy Seimetz
Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Jane Adams, Kentucker Audley, Katie Aselton, Chris Messina, Tunde Adebimpe, Jennifer Kim, Josh Lucas, Adam Wingard, Michelle Rodriguez, Olivia Taylor Dudley
Part of: SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 20.9.2020
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Plot:
Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil) is convinced that she is going to die tomorrow. This knowledge leaves her a mess. When she tries to tell her friend Jane (Jane Adams) about it, Jane seems to get infected by Amy’s knowledge and grows convinced herself that she will die, too. And no matter who they tell about it, the knowledge just spreads, opening emotional abysses.

She Dies Tomorrow takes the age-old question of “what would you do if you knew that you’ll die tomorrow?” and gives a sobering, slightly depressing, but not unrealistic answer. I thought that it was an interesting one, but the film is a little uneven.

The film poster showing several faces superimposed over each other in blue, red and pink coloring, creating a distorted effect.
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The Guest (2014)

The Guest
Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Brendan Meyer, Sheila Kelley, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.4./1.5.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
The Petersons have recently lost their son/brother in action in the Iraq war. As they still struggle with grief, a soldier turns up on their doorstep: David (Dan Stevens) served with their son/brother and he wanted to chek in on them as he had promised to take of the entire family. Mother Laura (Sheila Kelley) is quickly taken in by the charming David and offers him a place to stay for a while. It doesn’t take much longer for father Spencer (Leland Orser) and son Luke (Brendan Meyer) to bond with him. Only daughter Anna (Maika Monroe) remains suspicious – David is just too perfect.

So far, Adam Wingard movies were rather disappointing for me. But I really loved The Guest. It was funny and superentertaining and was one of my cinematic highlights of the spring edition of the /slash.

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You’re Next (2011)

You’re Next
Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Sharni Vinson, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, Joe Swanberg, Margaret Laney, Amy Seimetz, Ti West, Rob Moran, Barbara Crampton
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
It’s been a while since the Davison family came together but they do so to celebrate the parents’ anniversary. It’s Crispian’s (AJ Bowen) opportunity to introduce his new girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson). But as they sit together and go through the usual tense “we don’t much like each other but we are family” routine, they come under attack from men in masks who set out to kill them one by one.

You’re Next comes with a lot of accolades to back it up and I have to say that I do believe it’s been severely overhyped. Maybe I would have liked it if my expectations hadn’t been so high, but in this case I left it with a decided feeling of meh.

youre_next

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V/H/S/2 (2013)

V/H/S/2 (it’s a horror anthology with the following segments and a sequel to: V/H/S)
Segment Tape 49
Director: Simon Barrett
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Lawrence Michael Levine, Kelsy Abbott
Segment Phase I Clinical Trials
Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Adam Wingard, Hannah Hughes
Segment A Ride in the Park
Director: Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sánchez
Writer: Jamie Nash, Eduardo Sánchez
Cast: Jay Saunders
Segment Safe Haven
Director: Gareth Evans , Timo Tjahjanto
Writer: Gareth Evans , Timo Tjahjanto
Cast: Fachry Albar, Hannah Al Rashid, Oka Antara, Epy Kusnandar
Segment Slumber Party Alien Abduction
Director: Jason Eisener
Writer: Jason Eisener, John Davies
Cast: Rylan Logan, Samantha Gracie, Zack Ford, Josh Ingraham, Cohen King
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Private Investigator Larry (Lawrence Michael Levine) is sent after a missing boy. He stumbles upon a weird house full of VHS tapes where his partner Ayesha (Kelsy Abbott) starts watching a few while he checks out the rest of the house.
The first tape is the recording from an artificial eye, just activated in Herman (Adam Wingard) who not only starts seeing again at all, but even things that aren’t actually there.
The second tape is the helmet cam of a biker (Jay Saunders) who gets attacked by zombies in the woods.
The third tape shows film material from the inside of a sect’s compound where things are coming to a head.
The fourth tape shows a group of kids who are home alone when strange creatures come from out of the lake.

V/H/S 2 was a whole lot better than V/H/S which, honestly, wasn’t very hard to do. They cut down the framing (which makes the still-remaining question of WHY VIDEOTAPES less apparent), on the gratuitous boobs (though there’s still too much of them) and on the general length, which all works in its favor.

V-H-S-2

More about each segment after the jump.

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The ABCs of Death (2012)

The ABCs of Death
Director: Kaare Andrews, Angela Bettis, Hélène Cattet, Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, Jason Eisener, Bruno Forzani, Adrián García Bogliano, Xavier Gens, Lee Hardcastle, Noboru Iguchi, Thomas Cappelen Malling, Jorge Michel Grau, Anders Morgenthaler, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Banjong Pisanthanakun, Simon Rumley, Marcel Sarmiento, Jon Schnepp, Srdjan Spasojevic, Timo Tjahjanto, Andrew Traucki, Nacho Vigalondo, Jake West, Ti West, Ben Wheatley, Adam Wingard, Yudai Yamaguchi
Part of: /slash Filmfestival‘s Slashing Europe
[I’m saving myself from mentioning the cast as well, especially since, apart from Ingrid Bolsø Berdal there wasn’t anybody in it I knew anyway.]

Plot:
The ABCs of Death is an episode movie in which 26 directors each got a letter in the alphabet to which they chose a word from which they built their story/short film.

The ABCs of Death has its good moments, but far from all episodes were my thing. There is a surprising amount of toilet humor in the movie (which I minded less than I usually do, but still) and I generally had my issues with the structure. 26 short films are a lot to take in and I would have appreciated if the movie was broken up into two parts (A-L and M-Z or something). Also, because of the alphabetic structure, they couldn’t take the mood or the pacing into consideration, so funny is followed by sadness by gore by blood by horror by funny etc. So maybe one should be watching the entire movie in short film increments.

The-ABCs-of-Death

[After the jump, I’ll talk briefly about each of the short films seperately. If you consider knowing the words already as SPOILERS, don’t read any further.]

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V/H/S (2012)

V/H/S (it’s a horror anthology with the following segments)
Segment Tape 56
Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Kentucker Audley, Adam Wingard
Segment Amateur Night
Director: David Bruckner
Writer: David Bruckner, Nicholas Tecosky
Cast: Mike Donlan, Joe Sykes, Drew Sawyer, Hannah Fierman
Segment Second Honeymoon
Director: Ti West
Writer: Ti West
Cast: Joe Swanberg, Sophia Takal, Kate Lyn Sheil
Segment Tuesday The 17th
Director: Glenn McQuaid
Writer: Glenn McQuaid
Cast: Norma C. Quinones, Drew Moerlein, Jeannine Elizabeth Yoder, Jason Yachanin
Segment The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger
Director: Joe Swanberg
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Helen Rogers, Daniel Kaufman
Segment 10/31/98
Director: Radio Silence (aka Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Chad Villella)
Writer: Radio Silence (aka Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Chad Villella)
Cast: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Chad Villella, Paul Natonek
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

[Trigger Warning]

Plot:
A group of young men (Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Kentucker Audley, Adam Wingard) who make their money with sexually assaulting women are hired to retrieve a mysterious video tape from an apparently empty house that is filled with video tapes. As they don’t know which tape to take, they start packing them all up. While they do that, one by one they start watching the tapes that are filled with horrifying found footage.

The quality of the segments varies wildly, but the general framing is pretty weak. Generally I’m afraid that my expectations were just way too high – even though I’m not a fan of found footage in general, I had heard only good things and how scary it was, but the movie just doesn’t live up to that.

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A Horrible Way to Die (2010)

A Horrible Way to Die
Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Sarah (Amy Seimetz) is trying to start a new life after her boyfriend Garrick (AJ Bowen) was arrested for murdering several women. She got clean and started dating Kevin (Joe Swanberg). But then Garrick escapes from prison and starts to catch up with Sarah.

Simon Barrett has written a very good script and the cast isn’t bad either. But unfortunately Adma Wingard and his camera work and editing drove me pretty much insane, completey ruining the film.

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