A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Burying the Ex is a zombie-themed romantic comedy (aka "romzomcom") from director Joe Dante (Gremlins). The zombie violence doesn't start right away, but it eventually includes scenes of a bloody car accident, brain-eating, fighting, and bloody faces. Language isn't constant but does include several uses of "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and more. One character is a womanizer who sleeps with two women at once and is always talking about sex. The main character kisses and sleeps with his girlfriend and then switches to a new girl, whom he kisses and sleeps with. A naked butt is shown. In one scene, a character gets comically drunk on absinthe, and "meth heads" are mentioned.
What's the story?
Max (Anton Yelchin) works in a shop selling horror supplies, while his girlfriend -- the controlling, neurotic Evelyn (Ashley Greene) -- is an environmental blogger. Max isn't sure the relationship is working, but he's afraid to tell Evelyn; then, in a moment of panic, while unknowingly in close proximity to a devilish artifact, he swears to be with her forever. Meanwhile, he meets adorable ice cream vendor Olivia (Alexandra Daddario), who shares Max's passion for monsters. But just as Max prepares to break up with Evelyn, she's killed in an accident ... only to return as a zombie who's more determined than ever to be with Max. Max calls on his half-brother, Travis (Oliver Cooper), for help, but will romance win out over horror?
Is it any good?
Coming from one of the great, unsung masters of satirical horror-comedy, Joe Dante, it's surprising that this otherwise likable movie is such a disappointment. It feels like BURYING THE EX was transported here from a bygone era, pre-Walking Dead (and even pre-Warm Bodies and Life After Beth). It's shot like a TV movie, and the rules of the universe are barely established: It's hard to imagine that these characters could possibly make a living at their cool jobs, let alone that the little devil figure doesn't seem to have any real bearing on the story.
Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that Evelyn is such a one-dimensional shrew -- and that Travis is such a womanizer. (Stereotypes, anyone?) But somehow, in spite of all this, Burying the Ex has such an easy, dopey, shaggy-dog flow that it's hard to get that upset. Max and Olivia are kind of adorable, and their classic horror movie/monster references are fun for fans of the genre.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Burying the Ex's violence. How did it affect you? Was it funny? Disgusting? Does it seem gratuitous? Was all of it necessary for the story? What's the impact of media violence on kids?
Does the movie rely on male or female stereotypes? How?
The movie depicts a love for horror movies in general. What's the appeal of this genre? Is the movie scary? Are all horror movies scary?
How is sex depicted in the movie? Do characters have committed partners, or are they more interested in brief flings? What's the difference? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
What's the appeal of zombies in pop culture? What kinds of things do they symbolize?
- In theaters: June 19, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: August 4, 2015
- Cast: Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, Alexandra Daddario
- Director: Joe Dante
- Studios: RLJ Entertainment, Image Entertainment
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 89 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sexual content, partial nudity, some horror violence, and language
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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