A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that She Dies Tomorrow is an experimental horror movie about a woman who suddenly believes that she's going to die tomorrow, and that idea spreads to others. Despite the unsettling subject matter, the movie is beautifully made: It's poetic, dreamy, and bold. Violence includes a partly obscured dead body and lots of blood. A character with a stomach wound has blood-soaked clothing, and she dribbles blood. There's also dialogue about the process of skinning an animal and tanning its hide, and mentions of rape. Language includes several uses of "f--k," as well as "s--t," "a--hole," and other words. There's a graphic discussion about dolphin sex, kissing, and other mild sexual situations and dialogue. Characters take mushrooms, and a character who's said to have a drinking problem gets drunk and drinks and drives. There's also cigarette smoking and some drug-related dialogue.
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What's the story?
In SHE DIES TOMORROW, Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil) is suddenly convinced that she's going to die tomorrow. She calls her friend Jane (Jane Adams) and begins to drink and shop for urns online; she also decides she wants her remains to be made into a leather jacket. Jane comes over, tries to cheer Amy up, and goes home. Then, Jane suddenly believes that she will die tomorrow. She goes to see her brother, Jason (Chris Messina), who's having a birthday party for his wife, Susan (Katie Aselton). Soon, the people at the party also start thinking that they're all going to die tomorrow, too. Each decides to use their remaining time to take care of some unfinished business, from taking a dangerous ride in a dune buggy to helping a loved one in the hospital to ending a sputtering relationship. But what will actually happen when tomorrow comes?
Is it any good?
Writer-director Amy Seimetz's poetic, terrifying movie explores an existential crisis without getting too intellectual, using dreamy sounds and visuals to yield emotion, pain, and clarity. Coming close to the feel of an experimental movie, She Dies Tomorrow never explains whether the movie's catalyst -- the characters' absolute belief that they're going to die tomorrow -- is real or supernatural or ... anything. It's unexplained, and it isn't the point. The point, of course, is that everybody (and everything) dies, but what should we do with the time we have? Some tie up loose ends, some try to be with family, and some try new things.
But even more poignant questions come up, such as what to wear and what to leave behind. Amy puts on her fanciest, flashiest dress, while Jane wears a pair of pajamas. Amy visits a tanner to find out how she can be made into a coat. Director Seimetz -- who's also an actor in movies like The Sacrament and Pet Sematary -- uses these touches and things like colored flashes (red, blue, and green), Jane's photographic artwork (pictures of blood under a microscope, as well as disturbingly artful blood smears), and Mozart's "Requiem" played many, many times, to conjure up an almost psychedelic feel. She Dies Tomorrow offers the idea that there are no wrong answers here, even when Amy asserts: "I'm OK. I'm not OK."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about She Dies Tomorrow's violence. How much blood is shown? Is the blood meant to be shocking or artistic? What's the difference?
What would you do with your final time in this life? What things do you think would become more important, and what things would become less important?
What do you think the movie is trying to say by making this situation contagious -- i.e., passed on from one person to another?
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