The Dead Don't Die

The Dead Don't Die ★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.


Usually I find Jim Jarmusch's excursions into genre fairly impenetrable, but it would've been so easy for him to knock a Zombie flick right out of the park. The ingredients are all here: a sturdy, dead-pan cast, gorgeous day-for-night photography, his slow-as-molasses pacing reckoning with both genre and the arrival of the inevitable. And to be sure, there is some of that in The Dead Don't Die. Chloë Sevigny yearning to join her undead grandma as bodies press their faces and hands against the glass of a stalled squad car, blue and red flickering in the fog. Selena Gomez releasing a glittery halo as she compliments the nerdy horror cinephile at the gas station. Adam Driver pulling up to a crime scene in a little FIAT. Jarmusch as always is great at supplanting genre elements with little grace notes that either invigorate the satire or strengthen the character play, but he gets ahead of himself far too often, and The Dead Don't Die is largely embarrassing. He has hardly anything to work with in a story revolving around the desolate doom of climate change and the hatred of America's current administration. All we can do is watch him try and fail as the bodies swarm around us and we give into the cold of the night sky.

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