If there’s two things I love, its romance and zombies. A weird mix I know, but you can at least now imagine how much I love a comedy zom-rom. Comedy and classic horror go hand in hand in Joe Dante’s ‘Burying the EX’ – it really does what it says on the tin but in turn serves up brain mush that is hard to hate but easy to pick holes in – much like the skin of girlfriend from hell turned zombie, Evelyn, played by Twilight star, Ashley Greene.

Burying the Ex is predictable from the outset but with most loopy-horror-comedies you’re in for the ride and happy with a bit of blood and guts that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Zombies and gore lends itself perfectly to slapstick comedy making it a sure-fire easy yet enjoyable watch. However in this case, someone forgot to tell Joe Dante that this has essentially already been done with cult-hit, ‘Life After Beth’ and also, we are no longer in 1986.

Nerdy Max (Anton Yelchin) and his beautiful girlfriend, Evelyn (Greene) move in together despite his reservations, 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 – he confides in his ‘bro’ that the sex is totally awesome so that is one reason to put 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 the quirky and equally nerdy but massively babein’, Olivia (Alexandra Daddario) – 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.

Sounds fun right?

It is, but sadly there are too many gripes to ignore.

Mainly that age old gripe of gender confines placed on our protagonists. It’s just a little bit frustrating and of all the genres, you would hope that horror would be most progressive in its portrayal of what is deemed a ‘normal’ male and female character – I mean, we are dealing with the undead for Christ sake, what is ‘normal’ anyways?

These clichés casts the main plot not just as a comic take on the living fighting the smelly and crazily strong undead, but also as the same old, same old story of a young every-guy caught between two unfeasibly attractive women with the occasional, ‘LOL aren’t women just the worst’ gag from a disgustingly slobbish and horny half-brother of Max played by Oliver Cooper.

One of the two unfeasibly attractive women, the “ex” of the title, is the talented Ashley Greene playing super-hot girlfriend who is obsessed with all things environmentally friendly and has zero cool-girl element: comic books? Horror films? Niche cereal brand? Nah, this girl is a full-out annoying square how dare she not like all the things her boyfriend likes – but hey at least the sex is great.

It was this tone from writer Alan Trezza that had me feeling all annoyed and frankly feminist from the outset.

What’s even more annoying, when Max does find his ideal partner, she likes everything he likes, finishes his sentences, follows him around wondering when they are going to hook up and thus your left with two female characters that are like every other female character you’ve seen a million times over. Even when Evelyn becomes a zombie she’s not terrifying or even a little bit scary, she’s just pathetic. The sole purpose of the only women in the film is to be dumped or humped by our boyishly-charming leading man.

Greene’s character is placed as clingy and often coerces Max into declaring that they will be “together, always and forever” – it’s this little white lie said in front of a potentially magical ‘Satan genie’ that lands him in trouble and he ends up with an ex-girlfriend that he just can’t shift…even when she’s dead.

There are undoubtedly some great one liners, cue zombified Evelyn, “Max you broke my heart” to which he quips back, “…but it’s not even beating anymore” – and of course there is the traditional zombie trope of the hand bursting out of the grave, but all in all ‘Burying the EX’ is a little disappointing.

I would love some more gore and guts – the projectile vomit of embalming fluid was the perfect gross out but it took too long to arrive.

The cast all give solid performances with Ashley Greene holding up most of the physical comedy element.

Aside from the aforementioned plus points, I was just bored of the two dimensional characters and general sexist overtone shouting to male viewers the world over, “LOOK girlfriends are so annoying, you can’t ever get rid of them”.

If you think I’m reading too much into ‘just a bit of laugh comedy horror’ film by calling it sexist, imagine it in the reverse – clingy, moany, possessive, affectionate boy turns into a zombie with everlasting love for his ex who was quite frankly glad to see the back of him – it just wouldn’t happen would it?

It wouldn’t, but it could.

 

Movie Review: Burying The Ex
2.0Overall Score
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About The Author

Emily Stockham

Emily is from South London and has a degree in English Literature. Emily is a marketing assistant who writes about films and music in her spare time. Horror and grindhouse are her thing - although she will happily watch anything if it means a trip to the cinema.