When I hear the name ‘Joe Dante’, my mind immediately pulls up the movie poster for GREMLINS. Then, for some reason, I start ticking down the list of other iconic titles from his filmography: PIRANHA, THE HOWLING, INNERSPACE, etc. Dante has been responsible for many films that helped define my youth, and I will go so far as to say he’s a genre icon in several regards. As such, when I heard about BURYING THE EX, I knew I had to see it; Dante has a unique gift for combining horror and humor, and I love how he does it. I’m glad the fine folks at RLJ Entertainment saw fit to grace me with a copy of the film because it is a fun jaunt into horror-comedy territory you won’t soon forget.
If you are not familiar with BURYING THE EX, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of RLJ Entertainment:
It seemed like a great idea when all-around nice guy Max (ANTON YELCHIN, Star Trek) and his beautiful girlfriend, Evelyn (ASHLEY GREENE, Twilight Saga) moved in together. But when Evelyn turns out to be a controlling, manipulative nightmare, Max knows it’s time to call it quits. There’s just one problem: he’s terrified of breaking up with her. Fate steps in when Evelyn is the victim of a fatal, freak accident, leaving Max single and ready to mingle. Just as Max is thinking about moving on with what could be his dream girl, Olivia (Alexandra Daddario, True Detective) – Evelyn has returned from the grave and is determined to get her boyfriend back…even if that means transforming him into one of the undead.
Dante seems to transform himself every few years, and the results are always interesting. He did straight-up horror early on, with THE HOWLING and PIRANHA…but then shifted gears into science fiction with INNERSPACE. Later on, he did SMALL SOLDIERS, which was also a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see where he goes next.
BURYING THE EX is shot well and looks great from a production standpoint. The film appears to offer a decent production budget, which is utilized well, and the results are evident onscreen.
The acting is top-notch, with Anton Yelchin portraying the main character, Max. I’ve enjoyed Yelchin in everything he’s done, from STAR TREK to ODD THOMAS. Ashley Greene plays his possessive girlfriend, Evelyn, and she does a great job as well. I had no trouble believing she was a psychotic mess. Alexandra Daddario is Max’s dream girl, Olivia, and she shines in her portrayal. Even the background characters are well done; of particular note is Oliver Cooper, who plays Max’s sex-crazed half-brother, Travis. I loved his performance, and I hope to see him future projects.
The storyline in BURYING THE EX is familiar, however Dante crams it full of dark humor and fun twists. Although I knew going into the film it would be a recognized concept, I had faith Dante could deliver and make it entertaining. And he certainly does not disappoint. The movie is engrossing, comedic, and even romantic…with a nice dose of zombies and gore thrown into the mix.
BURYING THE EX is a big win for me, and I highly recommend giving it a look. This horror-comedy gem is one every fan of either genre should visit because it has a little bit of something for everyone. The film is available now in a variety of formats.