BURYING THE EX
Joe Dante, check. Horror movie, check. Zombie comedy, check. Romance... well okay, we'll go with it. After all, Shaun of The Dead is a romantic comedy in its right and look how well that film turned out! The concept of an ex-girlfriend returning from the dead is most definitely one that sparks the imagination; the idea sells itself. A director with Gremlins on his filmography should bring all the horror bliss to this crazy, zombie romp, but truth be told, it’s a bit of a disappointment.
Max (Yelchin) is a horror film fanatic and has recently moved in with his vegan, eco-friendly girlfriend, Evelyn (Greene). He meets Olivier (Daddario), who shares his love of horror, and Evelyn is soon green with jealously. When Max realises the obvious - that he's not happy with his relationship - he plans to break up with his over-bearing and sensitive girlfriend. Before he can, Evelyn is hit by a bus. Stricken with grief, when he is finally ready to move on, Evelyn appears on his doorstep, fresh from the grave. His crazy needy girlfriend becomes a crazy needy zombie. Filled with guilt and partially terrified of her immortal abilities, Max just can't get rid of her. Now he has to balance his two relationships: the dead and the living.
There are some great 80's horror movie tropes and really fun ideas you would expect from Dante. You can see what he was trying to accomplish: it's a love affair with the macabre, but it just doesn't quite achieve the lust of horror B-movie. The tone is very confusing. Are we happy or are we sad? Is this supposed to be funny? Anton Yelchin's performance is rather blank, with everything going on he should be losing his shit, but he's just a blank canvas. He's obviously meant to be the ‘Jesse Eisenberg’ of the film, but they've either tried too hard or not hard enough. The soundtrack doesn't do much for the atmosphere either, there are some good punk rock tunes, however, it contrasts with rather depressing notes and whilst someone does die, it's a little too heavy and out of place for a romantic zombie comedy.
With exceptions from Oliver Cooper, who plays Travis, Max's half-brother and Ashley Greene, the awkward dialogue falls flat from the rest of the cast. Where it's trying to be cute, it's cringeworthy where it's meant to be funny, it's boring, and writer Alan Trezza can't take the blame for this. Cooper and Greene deliver just the right amount of enthusiasm and crazy into their characters, making their dialogue work. Yelchin and Daddario, on the other hand, just aren't feeling it and the audience aren't buying it. For any zombie horror fan, it's worth a watch with its obvious appreciation for the genre, but don't expect too much.
INFO: BURYING THE EX / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: JOE DANTE / SCREENPLAY: ALAN TREZZA /STARRING: ANTON YELCHIN, ASHLEY GREENE, ALEXANDRA DADDARIO, OLIVER COOPER / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 19TH (VOD)