The Movie Waffler New Release Review [VOD] - SHE NEVER DIED | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review [VOD] - SHE NEVER DIED

she never died review
A centuries old cannibal/vampire is recruited by a police detective to help clean up the streets.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Audrey Cummings

Starring: Olunike Adeliyi, Peter MacNeill, Kiana Madeira, Michelle Nolden, Noah Danby

she never died poster

There's a current trend for gender reversed remakes, a cynical way of targeting a female audience without the hassle of writing and developing original women characters. The horror genre doesn't present so many opportunities in this regard, as the vast majority of modern horror movies are centred on women to begin with. A recent exception was the 2015 Canadian cannibal tale He Never Died, in which Henry Rollins played a centuries old cannibal/vampire struggling to keep his urges in check in the modern world.

she never died review

Courtesy of director Audrey Cummings and original writer Jason Krawczyk, that movie has now been given the gender reversal treatment with She Never Died, though all the two movies really share is the idea of a vampiric protagonist who would usually be the villain of a horror movie.

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The immortal "She" of the title is Lacey (Olunike Adeliyi), a cannibal/vampire living on the streets of an unnamed but identifiably Canadian city. One day she gets in a scrap with a criminal, which results in her feasting on his corpse, and is spotted by Godfrey (Peter MacNeill), a detective on a stakeout. Treating her to an awkward breakfast in a diner, Godfrey offers Lacey the use of a run down apartment he owns in exchange for her killing a bunch of crims he has spent years trying to rid the streets of - and of course, she can chow down on their meat.

she never died review

In the line of her new work, Lacey finds herself straddled with an unwanted companion in Suzzie (Kiana Madeira), a young girl she inadvertently rescued from a human trafficking den. The unlikely trio of Lacey, Godfrey and Suzzie become the greatest threat to the city's underworld, attracting the attention of some very dangerous individuals.

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She Never Died has the ideal set-up for a comic book series, and in many ways it plays like an origin story for an odd trio of crime-fighters. Given its low budget and an aesthetic that screams "This isn't Canada, honestly!", Cummings' movie resembles a pilot for some late '90s, post-Buffy show that never got greenlit. As a pilot, it does just enough to introduce you to some likeable characters and set up an ongoing scenario, but as a standalone movie, it needs to offer more. The limited financial resources are all too visible, and it often feels like She Never Died is a Blade-esque action movie that someone has edited the action set-pieces out of.

she never died review

What it lacks in budget and polish, She Never Died attempts to make up for with some affable performances. Adeliyi displays some great comic chops with her deadpan, undead fish out of water routine, while Madeira has a charm that recalls Brittany Murphy, a bundle of energy you can't help but adore. Veteran performer MacNeill is one of those Canadian actors who has spent most of his career in small roles in American productions shot North of the 49th Parallel, and you can tell he's having fun with a meaty role here. All three pass an audition for a potential ongoing series exploring their characters' exploits, and a followup mini-series has been rumoured, perhaps even tying in with Rollins' character from the first movie. But taken on its own merit, She Never Died doesn't quite give its audience as much to chew on as it does its cannibalistic hero.

She Never Died is on UK VOD April 20th.

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