Romantic comedies have a tendency to focus on those with commitment issues, but occasionally we get ones about the inability to break it off. There are those “stage 5 clingers” that can’t take the hint, and the people that are afraid to hurt the other person. Or worse, afraid that the other person will hurt them. Joe Dante, the man behind GREMLINS, THE BURBS, and THE HOWLING, we get a darkly humorous look at what happens if you don’t end a relationship the responsible way.
Anton Yelchin (STAR TREK, CHARLIE BARTLETT) plays Max, a horror hound working at a Los Angeles horror store for a domineering boss. He’s dating Evelyn (Ashley Greene, TWILIGHT series, LOL), a gorgeous vegan activist that wants him to join her cause. He comes along kicking and screaming into the green world when he’d prefer it to be one filled with black, white, and red. Sadly, when the sex is good, hard to resist. Evelyn progressively takes over more and more aspects of Max’s world, until Max is ready to break it off, only for Evelyn to shuffle loose this mortal coil before he could do so.
Having previously run into another fellow horror nut, Olivia, played by Alexandra Daddario (SAN ANDREAS, TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D), he is coaxed back into the dating game after mourning the loss of Evelyn. As things start to kick off with Olivia, who should return but Evelyn, fresh from the grave. Now Max is stuck between the girl he was afraid to break things off with (and now is just plain afraid of), and a girl that’s perfect for him.
Joe Dante has always been one of my favorite directors. While I’ve not seen all of his work, the pieces that I have seen have stuck with me since an early age and still hold up now. From PIRANHA to GREMLINS to THE EXPLORERS to INNER SPACE, he handles things in a whimsical fashion, no matter how dark things can get. This makes his work very accessible to a broad audience, but still pleasing to die hard fans. So whenever new stuff of his is announced, I’m excited. And for the cast behind this, I was looking forward to seeing what they would be able to put out. Sadly, I ran into the trailer, which played a little too campy for my taste. Had I let myself be dissuaded by the trailer however, I would have been sorely disappointed as I truly enjoyed this one.
The writing from Alan Trezza was witty, filled with enough bite to keep you going, but not generally mean spirited. It felt like a classic Dante film. Based on Trezza’s short film (of the same name) starring John Francis Daley (Bones, Freaks & Geeks) and Danielle Harris (HALLOWEEN, HATCHET), the feature gives depth to the story, allowing jokes to play out, but not be overly played out. After learning it was based on a short, I was a little let down after finding out that the Blu-Ray is bare bones, not including the original short. I think it would be nice to be able to compare the two works, as I enjoy the original actors.
Ever since seeing CHARLIE BARTLETT, I’ve been a sucker for Yelchin’s work. He’s charming and has a great amount of comedic timing. And the fact that he hasn’t shied away from genre flicks (this and ODD THOMAS) has only endeared me to him more. And for being a fairly young actor, his list of credits is rather expansive. His role as Max is a fun one, as we get to see the romantic side, the depressed side, and we get to see him dive into some horror classics.
A lot of people have had Alexandra Daddario on their radar after her small role in the first season of True Detective, but I’ve appreciated her work since PERCY JACKSON & THE LIGHTNING THIEF. She’s also made a presence for herself in the genre community with her role in TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D. Facing down Leatherface, she brought a lot to a role in a film that many dismiss, but I’ve really enjoyed. Had she not been as strong, I think the film would have fallen flat. And in BURYING THE EX, she’s hard to resist. The chemistry between her and Yelchin’s Max is palpable, causing you to root for them despite the forces opposing them.
Overall, BURYING THE EX is a fun, light hearted jaunt into a darker world, and it would make for a great date flick!
BURYING THE EX is available through RLJ Entertainment on DVD everywhere August 4th, 2015, and exclusively on Blu-Ray at Best Buy July 28th, 2015.