Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, Alexandra Daddario, Oliver Cooper, Dick Miller
Written by: Alan Trezza
Directed by: Joe Dante
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, partial nudity, some horror violence, and language
Running Time: 89
Date: 06/19/2015
IMDB

Burying the Ex (2015)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Grave Situation

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Coming from one of the great, unsung masters of satirical horror-comedy, Joe Dante (Gremlins, Small Soldiers, etc.), it's surprising that the otherwise likable, lazy Burying the Ex is such a disappointment.

Max (Anton Yelchin) works in a shop selling horror supplies, while his girlfriend, the controlling, neurotic Evelyn (Ashley Greene) is an environmental blogger. Max isn't sure the relationship is working, but is afraid to tell Evelyn; in a moment of panic, while unknowingly next to a devilish artifact, he swears to be with her forever. Meanwhile, Max meets the adorable ice cream vendor Olivia (Alexandra Daddario), who shares Max's passion for monsters.

But just as he prepares to break up with Evelyn, she's killed in an accident. Unfortunately, that's not the end of her; she returns as a zombie, more determined than ever to be with Max. Max calls on his half-brother Travis (Oliver Cooper) for help, but will romance win out over horror?

It feels as if Burying the Ex were transported here from a bygone era, pre-Walking Dead, and even pre-Warm Bodies or Life After Beth. It's shot like a TV movie, and the rules of the universe are barely established: it's hard to imagine that these characters could possibly make a living at their cool jobs, let alone that the little devil figure doesn't seem to have any real bearing on the story.

It's perhaps even more troubling that the Evelyn character is such a one-dimensional shrew; not to mention that the Travis character is a womanizer. But somehow, in spite of all this, the movie has such an easy, dopey, shaggy-dog flow that it's hard to get upset. The Max and Olivia characters are kind of adorable, and their classic horror movie and monster references are fun for fans of the genre.

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