When you get married the vows often include ‘Till death us do part’ however for Max, played by the grossly underrated Anton Yelchin, it seems that even after death he can’t get rid of his eco-obsessive unhinged girlfriend who has dug herself up from the grave and returned as a zombie dead set on staying with him forever and ever and ever more.
Written by first time scribe Alan Trezza the hilarious Burying the Ex, which is based on his short film, is your typical story of boy dates girl, boy wants to dump girl, girl dies and returns as a zombie and won’t leave boy alone until he joins her as part of the undead.
Although Max and his girlfriend Evelyn (Twilights Ashley Greene but don’t hold that against her!) started out as the perfect couple as time has gone on the cracks have deepened especially as she is an overbearing Earth loving ultra-bossy boots and he is a laid back horror fan with dreams of running his own costume and prop shop something she has no interest or respect for.
In a moment of madness the couple make a vow to “always be together” over a Satan Genie from the shop which turns out to be the real deal magic wise so when Evelyn is killed in a freak accident on her way to meet Max who is about to break up with her although he is consumed with guilt and grief she returns from the dead as a love sick zombie determined to make good on their promise.
As if having a brain eating living dead lady around slowly decomposing wasn’t bad enough Max has meet someone new, the lovely Olivia (Alexandra Daddario from True Detective) so with the help of his sex crazed half-brother played by Oliver Cooper from Project X Max tries to cook up a plan to bury his ex once and for all.
Like a zombie version of Blithe Spirit or a comedy version of Thai supernatural horror series My Ex Burying the Ex is a Zom-Rom-Com in every sense and directed by the legendary Joe Dante it blends and balances all of its elements well giving enough of each to keep the audience well entertained.
There are a whole host of laugh out loud lines and great scenes from Max taking zombie Evelyn out to a Goth club and doing shots of Absinth to the various horror references to the sharp Kevin Smith-esque dialogue that runs throughout with the only slight niggle being the cheesy soundtrack music that often jars.
Although puerile and silly at times especially in the gory gags related to Evelyn literally falling apart in front of Max during a wince inducing yoga scene there is a more serious side to the film in its treatment of doomed relationships and the script is careful to make Evelyn sympathetic rather than ridiculous tinging her transformation and romantic fixation with tragedy.
What really makes the movie is the terrific cast centered around Anton Yelchin who has made a niche as an extremely likable everyman caught in unearthly situations from his roles in the flawless Odd Thomas to Star Trek to the Fright Night remake.
Here his palpable distress and angst at not only at splitting up with Evelyn but then having to deal with her hellish return prevents him being a jerk and keeps the film slipping into a chauvinistic comedy.
Evoking both Patty Mullen in Frankenhooker and Aubrey Plaza in the recent and remarkable Life After Beth Ashley Greene is a revelation playing what could have been a trite and uninspiring character with aplomb making her both blood-curdling and side-splitting in equal measures.
Although Zom-Rom-Com’s may have been done to death in recent years Burying the Ex is still well worth a watch especially for the cracking cast proving there is still life in the genre if it’s done well.