Amy thinks she’s dying tomorrow…and it’s contagious.

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

Directors: Amy Seimetz
Writers: Amy Seimetz

Taking the idea of death being a contagious disease very literally is She Dies Tomorrow, the second feature from Amy Seimetz, which was a late addition to the Melbourne International Film Festivals online edition. 

The first act of the film focuses on Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil) coming to terms with the fact she’s going to die tomorrow. A devastating realisation that’s come with such an unshakable truth. The mistakes she’s made. The dreams she had. She will die tomorrow. 

Amy wonders around her recently purchased home littered with unpacked boxes and reminisces amongst the belongings. She reaches one conclusion: everything here is dead. The floor is dead; the walls are dead; the brittle leaves and decaying bark in her backyard are all dead. What will she become when she dies? 

An all-day of drinking finds Amy’s friend, Jane (Jane Adams) arriving at her door. With little to no dialogue up to this point in the film, Amy turns to Jane and says, “I think I want to be a leather coat when I die.” 

The disease that is death passes to Jane and Jane passes it on as she heads home. Soon death is a moving plague and we follow a few key characters as they respond to its effects.

There’s no need to decrypt the David Lynch nature of She Dies Tomorrow. It’s simply: death. But what’s interesting is how each character responds to the news that they’ll die tomorrow. Amy’s journey inward is of self-reflection, regret and a desire to be something useful in death. Others are more selfish, or of simple bewilderment. One man we follow for a short period takes his father off life support, something he says he wishes he would have done years earlier. 

The film is shot beautifully by Jay Keitel who’s work on John Wick 2 surely influenced the flashing neon lights each character sees upon realising their short lifespans. The film also features wonderful performances from the core cast of Kate Lyn Sheil and Jane Adams down to smaller roles from Josh Lucas, Michelle Rodriguez and even a cameo role for horror director Adam Wingard.

Although the films opening moments with Amy are rather slow-plodding, there’s certainly enough dark humour here to help lighten the load. Jane Adams is specifically delivered one line so dead-pan halfway through the film I couldn’t help but let out a loud chuckle. It’s all very morbid, of course.

Asking anyone the question is sure to lead to interesting answers and that’s what this film does — inspire thoughtful questions. If you were to die tomorrow, what would you do today? Who’s living in fear and who’s living in the moment. Do your past decisions define your future? These may be too introspective for some audiences but I adored She Dies Tomorrow