She Never Died (2019)
Director: Audrey Cummings
Cast: Olunike Adeliyi, Peter MacNeill, Kiana Madeira, Michelle Nolden, Noah Dalton Danby, Edsson Morales, Katie Messina, Murray Furrow
When a girl goes missing, a woman with a mysterious past tracks down the people responsible. – IMDB
Set in the same universe of 2015’s Canadian horror drama/comedy/thriller He Never Died, She Never Died is not a direct sequel but rather focuses on another character – a strong female character called Lacey, played by Olunike Adeliyi. Lacey is an immortal who lives in tedium of existence and hunts down the villainous bad guys in the society to keep her compulsions in check. In one of her huntings (or feedings..whichever you want to call it), she gets discovered by a detective Godfrey (Peter MacNeill) who is following the same man as she uses for her huntings called Terrence (Noah Dalton Danby), who is suspicious of human trafficking. Together they join together to pursue him and ends up diving deeper into their operations.
What contributes a lot to She Never Died is having this mysterious creature and having something more unique in the form of something like a vampire in its immortality but having reactions almost like a werewolf but also these marks on her back. Watching the character of Lacey on screen, with her sparse words and her badass appearance and attitude, there’s a righteousness that fills the air. In fact, the three main characters here: Lacey, Godfrey and even the girl that joins their little team, Suzie (Kiana Madeira) all have their not so glorious decisions but still has this good in them that helps them stick together with each other despite the fact they are actually all very much strangers to each other. These characters and the cast that brings them all to life, add so much to how it becomes incredibly enjoyable aside from the nice grasp of atmosphere and tone from director Audrey Cummings.
Some of the elements are a bit questionable. You could call the mystery of Lacey a lack of depth as her character does have very vague expressions but at the same time, its not exactly a very deep film. There are no questions on how the story will turn out especially with the bad guy, Terrence that dabbles in the dark web who is a rather cookie-cutter sort of villain that feels like he has an unsettling nature but is the brawn of the operation while the hint of incestuous relationship with his sister (Michelle Nolden) who is a much more mysterious as character has not a lot of appearance to add intrigue. There’s a lot going on and its ending definitely hints at a huge possibility that this world still has space to build upon and even a possible sequel.
While having never seen He Never Died, She Never Died is a decent film. Packed with some dark humor, some action, a good bit of gore and the whole question of what Lacey actually is (which does have a huge hint at the ending). Its a huge mystery and yet, surprisingly no one questions her being but accepts her differences and how her abilities adds to the situation. There’s an obvious lack of depth in the film for its myriad of characters and yet the film itself has a decent pacing to keep it interesting with the action and the flow.
*She Never Died is screening at Blood in the Snow Festival on November 22nd at 9:30pm*