When Sam is murdered in a remote lake, his consciousness begins to travel through the bodies of his friends in an effort to protect them from his killer. This dark passage leads him on a greater journey – discovering his own true identity.
It’s been quite some time since a movie thoroughly did my head in and left my brain feeling like it wanted to explode by the end. This is the position I found myself in after watching Every Time I Die. This left me uncertain of how or where to begin writing a review for this interesting yet complex film.
Every Time I Die is categorised as a meta-physical thriller in much the same vein as the film Fallen starring Denzel Washington. It follows protagonist Sam (Drew Fonteiro) a paramedic who stills struggles with the death of his sister when he was eight years old. It is revealed early on that Sam suffers from blackouts resulting in lost time. One moment he is doing something, the next he finds himself somewhere else.
Sam is in love with Mia (Melissa Macedo), a woman who is married to a deployed marine named Tyler (Tyler Fleming) and whose twin sister Poppy (Michelle Macedo) is married to Sam’s EMT partner Jay (Marc Menchaca). When Tyler returns from deployment, Jay invites everyone to join him at his lakeside cabin to celebrate his 40th birthday. While there, Tyler discovers the affair and ends up killing Sam in a fit of rage. And so begins an involved, mind-bending plot involving Quantum Leap style body-hopping. Unfortunately, I cannot go deeper into this without giving away too much of the story. The film itself is one of the most divisive films I have watched in a long time in that it is either loved or hated by the audience. I myself have to say that I’m in the “I loved it but it confused the hell out of me” camp.
One of the reasons most people didn’t like the film is due to its slow build. It doesn’t rush into the action and even once the action starts it is slower-paced than you might expect. Personally, I enjoyed the pacing as it helps to set up the tension and the movie was twisty and involved enough that fast-paced action would have made it nearly incoherent and ultimately disappointing.
The film itself didn’t have the biggest budget yet the cinematography and acting never leave you feeling that you are watching a low budget movie. The music is well chosen and the camerawork is well done, giving the film high-quality production feel. While the acting is good, there are a few moments which seem a bit flat. This, in my opinion, is due to the somewhat two-dimensional nature of all the characters. This is something that also divides viewers, with many complaining about the flat characters.
None of the characters is explored very deeply, mainly just being relegated to archetypes such as ‘best friend’, ‘hot girl’, ‘angry guy’ etc, with Sam being the only character who has a bit more meat to them. However, the story doesn’t require much more and the actors do an admirable job of portraying the characters in such a way that you don’t realise this.
Every time I thought I was getting some grip on what was going on the film managed to change the rules slightly, keeping me guessing to the end. While the final twist does make some things make more sense, I was still left with questions and uncertainties which I will never be able to resolve without speaking to the writer themselves. This may sound unsatisfactory or as if the film was left unresolved, however, that is not the case. With some mental gymnastics and attention to details earlier in the film, you finally understand what was at the root of it all. There are a few minor details that I have no answers for but I have my own theories.
All in all, Every Time I Die, is a great film and well worth the time it takes to watch. It isn’t a simple movie though, and you certainly won’t be able to watch it without giving it your full attention. So if you’re in the mood for something a bit different from the norm (and you don’t mind a bit of brain-hurt at the end) Every Time I Die is a much watch.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.