We’ve just got one more sleep until Toronto gets a little spooky once again. The Blood In The Snow Film Festival returns for 6 days of horror and genre films, from November 21st to 26th, at the Royal Cinema. We all love going to the movies to see a little horror, a little genre, and a little action. On Friday night, you can take in She Never Died, a film that incorporates all three!
Directed by Audrey Cummings, She Never Died follows Lacey (played by Olunike Adeliyi), a socially detached loner who lives on the streets and is cursed with immortality. She also lives with an insatiable appetite for human flesh. She’s a real charmer, that one. In order to properly focus her hunger, she targets criminals and the undesirables of society. She takes a bad situation and turns it into a force for good. But being a cannibal vigilante doesn’t always work out like you want it too. It gets a little difficult when an innocent gets in the way.
The concept of She Never Died is an intriguing one. A character cursed to walk the Earth, always thirsting and never dying makes for a great motivation. Add in Lacey’s decision to use her position to help people in her own way and we’ve got a great set up for a film. But every great idea can fall apart when executed. Thankfully, Olunike Adeliyi brings forth a performance to take the character to the next level.
Olunike Adeliyi owns the screen like a voracious beast. She has dialogue throughout the film, but the audience finds out everything they need to know about Lacey through Olunike’s guttural noises and fierce stares. She’s a hunter playing with her prey, a dark soul that’s struggling with her own humanity. This is made more clear when she saves Suzzie (Kiana Madeira), a young woman abducted by sex traffickers. When Lacey rescues Suzzie from her captors, the two become an unlikely duo. At first, the pairing is quite jarring. But the chemistry between Madeira and Adeliyi is apparent quite quickly and makes for a few comic moments.
The main problem with She Never Died is the story itself. The plot is very bare bones and lacks momentum. We know very little about Lacey at the start of the film. We find out a little more by the end. There’s no explanation as to why she is what she is or her current situation. The antagonists of the piece are one dimensional in nature. The loose ends introduced in the final scenes are a bit too loose to really grab the audience. If not for the fantastic performances by Olunike and Kiana, the movie would fall flat.
In the end, She Never Died is an interesting character piece showcasing a stellar performance. Olunike has transformative powers that make her a joy to watch on screen. Lacey is a mystery, but a compelling one. It would be fun to see this character in a new adventure. Time will tell if that happens.
If you’re looking for a creepy character study with the right amount of blood and guts, check out She Never Died, playing this Friday at 9:30PM at the Royal Cinema. The film screens with the short Housekreeping, directed by Kyle Dunbar. Get tickets HERE!
Keep checking back here for more BITS19 Coverage!
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!