She Dies Tomorrow Explained- Nervy Fatalism For The Pandemic Era
Amy Seimetz’s psychological slow-burner She Dies Tomorrow is a confounding look at the interconnectivity of ideas and the fear that plagues us all.
The simple premise that is anything but is exploited in the stylish and unnerving She Dies Tomorrow. Death is inevitable. For Amy, Jane, and everyone they come into contact with it becomes an unavoidable truth. A festering fear that once scratched continues to ooze and rot everything around it. What would you do if you knew you were dying tomorrow? Would you fight, accept your fate, or make amends? For Amy, Jane, and the people, they run into that reality is now, and they all react differently. If the idea of your mortality makes you uncomfortable, this film isn’t for you. Bone deep and visceral, this is what anxiety looks like.
She Dies Tomorrow won’t be for everyone. It is nontraditional to the extreme, nonlinear, and in parts nonsensical. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a method to the madness or that it isn’t well worth your time, just that it will take some adjustments from our very rigid minds to accept what we are seeing and go along for the ride. More existential than physical, this is a thoughtful film heavy on rumination and talent. From pitch-perfect performances by Kate Lyn Sheil(You’re Next) and Jane Adams(Hung), and supporting roles by subtle but meaningful portrayals by Tunde Adebimpe(Perry Mason) and Chris Messina(The Sinner)the cast is outstanding. Even tiny cameos from Michelle Rodriguez(F9), Olivia Taylor Dudley(The Magicians), and Josh Lucas(Ford VS Ferrari) add depth.
Amy has bought a house for seemingly no reason because, as it turns out, she is dying tomorrow. There is no escaping the creeping dread of knowing your days are literally numbered, and that number is 1. Like the underappreciated Pontypool and Yellowbrickroad ideas have power and the more people who hear them, the more are affected. Soon Amy infects her friend Jane who initially rejects the idea but then begins to believe it so entirely she tells everyone around her creating a never-ending spiral of infection and death. As the credits roll, you are left with a headache and a whole lot of questions. Here’s everything you need to know about this brilliant film.
Why Does Everyone Think They Are Dying?
The short answer is we don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. The concept that they are all in the last hours of their life is contagious. Like a virus running like a wildfire through the characters, everyone becomes convinced it is true. In our COVID-19 world, it isn’t that hard to imagine hearing or reading that your life or the whole world was ending and believing it to such a degree you become despondent. Fatalism and nihilism go hand in hand. Fatalism is the idea that your fate has already been predetermined, and there is absolutely nothing you can do to change it. Each character in She Dies Tomorrow believes without question, they can not avert death. Jane, Erin, and Sky are nihilists. They think nothing matters. They aren’t pessimistic or sad, just accepting.
Susan, Jason, Doc, Tilly, and Brian all are fatalists. They think they can’t do anything to avoid their deaths, but they should do their best to make their final hours meaningful. Brian takes his father off life support, Doc goes to spend time with his wife, and Jason and Susan care for their daughter. None of them rail against the eventuality; they simply try to lessen the blow. Amy seeks peace and meaning. She is the only one wholly alone and visibly scared in the end.
What Is Making Everyone Think They Are Dying?
It’s never explained and left intentionally ambiguous. Is it an actual disease spread by words, vapor, or physical touch? Is it an airborne pathogen spreading from host to host through viral shedding? Or is it a mental contagion that seeks out vulnerable people to corrupt? There is power in persuasion, and anyone can look at the deep fakes and viral marketing all over social media to know once a seed is planted it is tough to dissuade a believer. It doesn’t matter what you believe, just that you hold that belief. People often form and reinforce their opinions based on what others think. In She Dies Tomorrow, the fact that the person infecting those around them is so insistent it makes the belief more plausible and allows it to replicate to the next person.
Is Everyone Going To Die?
In the end, we don’t know and it doesn’t matter. Does Jane die in the pool, does Amy die alone, and do the others die leaving family and friends behind? Some of the characters try valiantly to make things right in their lives. Others spend it with loved ones. Jane and Amy both go on bizarre walkabouts, virtually ensuring the infection will continue to grow. The self-fulfilling prophecy that is their death sentence could cause some of them to commit suicide through deed or apathy. We don’t know what killed Craig, but we do see him very angry and trashing his house.
It isn’t completely unrealistic to assume he caused his death by breaking everything or only ending things because he couldn’t take waiting anymore. The only thing we know for sure is he is dead. We don’t even know if he died on a preordained day. We do hear him yelling that it is all over before freaking out and breaking everything. Maybe his death day came and went without incident, and the fact that he believed something so completely that wasn’t true, he killed himself in a fit of despair. He may have realized he wasted his relationship and time on a lie. Assuming that is true, everyone will probably also die similarly.
Who Was Patient Zero?
Amy’s boyfriend appeared fine in the early stages of their relationship. It was going well. On vacation with Amy, they ordered pizza, and when he went to pay and get the pizza from the delivery person, he is seen standing in the doorway for an unusually long amount of time. He was infected then, and everything else in the movie stems from that chance encounter. Who the pizza delivery person got the infection from is unknown. It makes you very glad that deliveries can now be contactless, right?
Make no mistake; this is a halcyon nightmare with ever-changing colors and oddly placed music. No pleasant memories of childhood past, only regrets, and loneliness accompany the growing paranoia. Nothing about She Dies Tomorrow is normal. It is an unrelenting psychedelic head trip designed to unsettle. It has a long-lasting effect that will make you face your mortality each time you see the flashing of police lights. Maybe that is the point. Whether you are afraid of terrible accidents, police brutality, or sickness, death comes for us all. It’s just a matter of time. That unnerving panicked feeling you get went you choke, or those dreams that feel so real are the disease She Dies Tomorrow sells. Be careful who you watch with the virus is still spreading.
She Dies Tomorrow is streaming everywhere and in select Drive-In theaters now.
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.