She Never Died (2019)

An immortal woman trying to make it through this world without too much hassle and find her next meal, as she finds a way to make things work, her activities attract the attention of people on both sides of the law.

Written by Jason Krawczyk, who wrote He Never Died to which this is a sequel, She Never Died is definitely a spiritual sequel without characters returning or direct, obvious connections. Here, the lead character is dark and she takes no shit and gives no fucks. The writing is dark, yet strong with a sense of humor that will definitely connect with the sarcastic, out of fucks segment of society. This is directed by Darken director Audrey Cummings, who takes this story of this immortal woman who just can’t care and makes her and the story relatable. She connects this lead character and her supporting characters with audience.

A big part of this connection is the cast and their performances. In the lead is Olunike Adeliyi giving a performance that grabs the attention and never lets it go, there is no stealing scenes from her. Supporting actress Kiana Madeira tries her best to do so, her workalmost steals the show, but Adeliyi’s is just so strong, there is no taking it over. Madeira plays her character of Suzzie much lighter and more fun than Adeliyi’s Lacey. She becomes the perfect counterpart and helps the film from becoming pure darkness. The cast in general do great work, but these two ladies are the main interest throughout the film. Also notable is the performance of Peter MacNeill as Godfrey, his work is great with these ladies and balances the film out. The well rounded cast is what really sets the film apart and brings it home for the viewer.

The film’s look is different enough from He Never Died to set it apart a bit and is created with cinematography by Ian Macmillan and editing by Michael P. Mason. The film’s look is one that works with the story, letting the viewer in and letting the viewer see the action unfold. Things are shown and the viewer is allowed to fully see everything. The lighting is right, the framing shows the right amount of everything, and the editing is not overactive, giving the characters and actors their space to shine. The elements creating the film get out of their way and support them instead of the often overused style over content.

She Never Died, much like her predecessor, has great practical effects used sparingly to give an idea of what is going on and let the viewer make their own minds about whether it’s gross of logical or exactly right. These practical effects are done by Sheilagh McGrory and her team. Their work is just the right amount of bloody and gory, showing enough and not too much at the same time. These effects put the film squarely into the horror genre while the story makes it feel more like a thriller with drama and some clear horror elements. For more squeamish viewers, it must be noted that the gore is kept to a few scenes only and is not extreme in any way. Its impact is however important and the gore’s presence is not gratuitous.

She Never Died is a more than worthy sequel to He Never Died that brings a new feeling to the universe, expending it in a manner that both makes sense and adds to the established universe. The film created here can also be viewed as a completely independent story, thus making more of an addition to the universe than a continuation type of sequel. Here the film and its lead are their own entity, something different while similar. It’s a definite must see for fans of the first and even for those who didn’t connect with the Henry Rollins starrer. She Never Died is a carefull well-crafted film that is more than worth a watch. The connection the film and the lead make is what sets it apart, the talent involved make it a stellar film.