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.
In BURYING THE EX, Max is a lover of all things Horror. He has a day job working in a Halloween specialty store called "Bloody Mary's Boutique", however, he hopes to one day open, and operate his own. A store he looks to call, "Max's Scare Shop". But beyond his love of Horror, and its culture, he also has a girlfriend, Evelyn, who is quite the opposite. Instead of loving all things which go "bump in the night", Evelyn is more about the preservation of the Earth and all things, "green". At first Max tries to go along with her strict lifestyle, but when it all becomes too annoying for him, he looks to throw in the towel on their relationship. Arranging a meeting at the local dog park, it is there where Max had planned to break up with Evelyn. However, before the deed can be done, something rather dramatic occurs. Evelyn is hit by a bus, while crossing the street. This results in, of course, her demise. In the following weeks, after the death of his girlfriend, Max spends many nights in isolation, as he merely just sits on the couch watching Horror flicks. It's as if his life is on pause. But that soon changes, when Max meets up again, with a girl named Olivia that he had met a short time prior. Owner and server at the nearby ice cream shop, Olivia, shares many of the same interests of Max, something that Evelyn wasn't to fond of. With Evelyn now out of the picture, Max begins to slowly pursue a relationship with the new girl. Things begin looking up. But just as Max starts to move on, now with Olivia in his life, something totally out of the ordinary happens. Something that sends Max's life into a tailspin. Evelyn comes back from the dead, unexpectedly. Rising from her deathly grave. Evelyn, who is well aware that she has died, returns home, and looks to resume the couple's everyday life. This of course confuses and complicates things for Max. In the beginning, just as he had done previously, Max attempts to just roll with it - often times just narrowly escaping confrontation between the two ladies in his life. But as if history is repeating itself, after awhile, Evelyn's ways become completely overbearing. It eventually comes to a point where both Max and his Half brother Travis must collectively come up with with a way to rid Max of his Ex. However, when Evelyn develops a hunger for brains, the task proves to be much easier said, than done.
BURYING THE EX, a Horror/Comedy, Directed by Horror veteran, Joe Dante, is essentially a love story, in which a Horror enthusiast is ultimately faced with genuine Horror itself. In the film a guy named Max, has the textbook nagging girlfriend. While he's more laid back, she's always nagging him about saving trees, eating right, and the like. But little does Evelyn, the girlfriend know, he totally despises it. She thinks it's all going swell, and even vows to be with Max "forever". In fact, the whole thing kicks off, when she repeats similar lines, while standing in proximity of one of Bloody Mary's Boutiques newest arrivals - a statue. In the figure of Satan himself, the statue states that it is a "Satan Genie", and that it has the power to grant any desire or wish that is said. So, that is where it all begins. She wanted to be together forever. And so, the Satan Genie says it will be. So, when Evelyn unexpectedly dies, although he does feel bad, he sees it as he finally being off the hook. It takes him a little while to recuperate, however soon, he is out there again, enjoying life, "Evelyn-free". This of course, results in Max reconnecting with a rad girl, named Olivia. But of course, when things begin to get good for Max, Evelyn is still right there to get in his way. Yes, even from beyond the grave.
First, to get it out of the way, yes, on the surface, BURYING THE EX, is a lot like another film, which came out, virtually around the same time. A film called, LIFE AFTER BETH. The plots for both deal with a guy who has tragically lost his girlfriend, only to find out a short time later that somehow, she has returned from the dead. While, yes, the film's are indeed very similar in this respect, the films differ in various ways. In knowing that I was to review this film soon, not having seen LIFE AFTER BETH beforehand, I took it upon myself to see the film, prior to this one, all in the name of research. Well, to be honest, a found myself quite bored with LIFE AFTER BETH overall. I mean, it starts off pretty good, but after it played out for awhile, I got pretty bored with it. In that film, not only did Beth come back from the dead, but also half of the town as well(with no explaination). Although, I do like that film's two main actors, Aubrey Plaza and Dane Dehaan, as well as supporter John C Reilly, the film ended up being pretty stale to me. In comparison however, BURYING THE EX is quite the opposite, as the whole vibe for it is pretty fresh, and the characters themselves are written with much more life(no pun intended). When it comes to LIFE AFTER BETH, I never really cared about the film's lead character, nor did I connect with any of the impact that Beth death seemed to cause. On the other hand, however, this film takes the time to flesh out, and characterize it's characters, and so when the story soon changes, we are interested in finding out where it would go. By the time that Evelyn bites the dust, we the audience are about as annoyed by her, as Max himself. So her dying is one thing, but her coming back from the dead is another. All the while, we feel the same emotion that Max does. Max, wants nothing more, than to get rid of the "roadblock", which stands in the way of his path to happiness. Likewise, the character of Olivia, is also nicely painted. She's energetic, like minded, interesting, and free. Max really likes her, and as viewers, so do we. These characters, along with a sprinkle of off-beat comedy(much of it coming from Max's half brother, "Travis" played by Oliver Cooper, who fashions himself a ladies man, although in reality, he's a slacker), make for a fun take on the whole idea of one having a scorned Ex.
Keeping the film interesting, along with a smooth pace, are the performances by the film's great young cast. Not much far removed from his re-imagined "Charlie Brewster" character in the FRIGHT NIGHT remake, Actor Anton Yelchin, here again portrays a character whom is a Horror fanatic. I don't know why he was picked for these similar parts, but to be honest, I am glad that they did. I like Yelchin, he's really likable. In this film, he's a nerd - but not. He just likes Horror. And for most of us, he's totally relatable. The same could be said for Alexandra Daddario's character, "Olivia", who is basically every Horror fans dream girl. Someone beautiful, smart, funny, and she likes all things Horror and pop culture? Please, sign me up(Daddario is hot)! And on the other side of things, of course we have Evelyn, who essentially represents all of those people who just don't seem to understand Horror, and why it is that we love it so much. It is clear to the viewer that the film's script was written by a Horror fan, who happens to know these things. All together, this film is really fun. The cast does a great job at conveying the story to us. I happen to have liked everyone. Yes, even Ashley Greene(who I normally like anyway). As I said, it was her job to annoy the hell out of us, here, and annoy, she does. As a whole, it's not just a good job by Greene, but a good job by all.
Overall, I really liked this one, and while the two can(and will)be compared to one another, personally, I enjoyed this film, far more than the similar plotted, LIFE AFTER BETH. Both it's story and characters are better realized, and as far as overall execution goes, the look, approach, and direction, are all a step above.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
As I said above, I thought that BURYING THE EX was pretty fun. With this in mind, I probably would have rated this film higher, had it not been for one thing. I will refrain in mentioning what that thing is, however I will say that it is something that happens to the Travis character, near the film's end. I felt that this addition was not needed. But other than that, BURYING THE EX, is a fun film, one with both a story and characters, that are fun to watch. And in focusing on this Blu-Ray release, it is exclusively available at Best Buy stores. Knowing this, I figured that the transfer on the release would be no more than a quick, cheap port from standard definition. But as it turns out, it is a true 1080p transfer that is crisp and clear. There are no special features on the disc, mind you, but in terms of picture quality, the film looks great on the format.
The Blu-Ray edition is exclusive to Best Buy stores, and available now. The DVD version will be released everywhere on August 4, 2015