Movie Review: ‘She Never Died’ is Wonderfully Creepy, Bloody and Full of DreadNovember 22, 2019
The Blood and the Snow Canadian Film Festival
A slow burn with a standout performance by the lead Olunike Adeliyi, She Never Died’is a mystery, horror and action film all wrapped up in one strange little ball. Driven by great direction and powerful score, the movie goes places that will make you cringe while at the same time, keep you so riveted that you won’t want to look away in fear of missing something.
We meet Lacey (Olunike Adeliyi) who is a loner living on the streets, cursed with immortality. With an insatiable appetite for human flesh, she targets criminals to satisfy her hunger and try to do some good at the same time. It sounds like a good plan, and it is, but if it was that easy this would be a boring movie and it doesn’t take long before things spiral out of control.
Detective Godfrey (Peter MacNeil) stumbles onto Lacey while investigating the human trafficking/torture ring while Suzzie (Kiana Madeira) befriends Lacey after she rescues her from a sex trafficking ring. Innocents make great friends but also easy targets and as the complications mount, Lacey finds herself in situations she has never had to deal with before.
Director Audrey Cummings does a great job setting a nice pace for the film, a slow burn that keeps the viewer interested and very curious at what is going to happen next. There is an edge to most of the film, a sense of danger and dread, that is hard to convey from page to screen, and Cummings and company did this very well. To this end, the score was superb, giving some moments that extra boost while also allowing the actors to sell their characters to the viewers by toning it down to just the right level.
The success of the film invariably lands in the hands of the lead and thankfully, Olunike Adeliyi is up to the task. Her performance is marvelous, drifting from a stone-cold killer, a beast uttering guttural sounds, to a lost soul, who stares off in the distance, seeing nothing. Well, actually, she does see something, but The Man in the Hat is a character that the viewer will have to chew on and decide about themselves. There are also some comedic moments between Adeliyi and Madeira that shift the momentum of the story but not in a bad way. It almost allows the viewer to catch their breath before the story shifts back into another disturbing twist.
My only issue at times was the story itself, which was very thin in detail at certain points. Who Lacey is, her background, what’s going on at the end of the film, these are questions and loose ends that might or might not grab an audience’s attention.
She Never Died is a success because the direction and lead are very strong and the atmosphere and dread build very well from start to finish. Lacey is a very interesting character to watch throughout the film and combined with the blood, gore and creepy atmosphere make for a great time at the movies.
Four stars out of five.