“True love conquers all.” Maybe it shouldn’t.
Burying the Ex is the soon to be released flick from director Joe Dante, who brought us the ’80s classics Gremlins and The Howling. This time around, we follow horror-movie-loving Max (Anton Yelchin, ie. Checkov from the Star Trek reboot series, but without the Russian accent), struggling to rise above the manipulative people in his life. He’s working in a dead-end job in a kitschy Halloween curio shop with a demanding boss; living with his controlling girlfriend Evelyn (Ashley Greene from Twilight); and dealing with his brother (I mean half-brother, a running gag) Travis (Oliver Cooper from The Hangover III) who really just needs Max’s apartment as a destination for his booty calls.
An odd little statue arrives at the shop that promises to grant a wish… but because it’s a “Satan-Genie” (and according to a tag attached)– the wish has to be granted the “evil way.” Cut to the “Satan-Genie” being within earshot of a post-coital promise made between Max and Evelyn: “We will always be together… always and forever”… and the “evil-way” is set in motion.
Max’s relationship with Evelyn continues to deteriorate. Evelyn freaks out at a friendly ice cream shop owner named Olivia (played by the comely Alexandra Daddario from True Detective); turns their apartment into a “green, eco-friendly zone” … and relegates (read: jams) his expensive horror movie posters into a drawer…
At his wits end, Max takes the advise of brother (half-brother) Travis, and invites Evelyn to a public place to break up with her. Max chooses a dog park, which leads Evelyn to believe he has gotten her a dog, and in her enthusiasm, rushes out to meet him and is killed by a bus.
You can guess what follows. Evelyn returns from the grave, hell-bent on rekindling their relationship, and determined to keep Max away from the very-alive ice cream owner, Olivia. And she has a plan to make good on their promise to “always be together… always and forever” that Max is not too keen on.
There are some genuinely funny moments, and director Joe Dante is in great form, but comparisons to the Jeff Baena film Life After Beth (read our review HERE), released last year, are inevitable. Both movies involve girlfriends coming back from the grave to despondent boyfriends who have all kinds of regrets after their deaths; both girlfriends are adamant in reviving their “dead” relationships (and deflecting any interest from any potential “living” girlfriends), all the while slowly deteriorating physically and mentally into zombie-ness (and rage). And according to both films, returning from the grave makes girls super-strong and really horny.
Those are the plot similarities. Burying the Ex is a really fun movie with great directing, photography, physical special effects and outstanding acting that illustrates Dante’s pedigree, delivering a far more polished film than Life After Beth. Don’t let seeing Beth dissuade you from checking out Burying the Ex. It’s a fun watch for those wanting to expand your zombie movie horizons.
Bury the Ex will hit theaters on June 19th.