June 22, 2015

VOD Review: Burying the Ex (2015)

At 69 years old, Joe Dante still knows how to make an entertaining movie.

The great thing about Burying the Ex is that you can see how much he enjoyed bringing its story to life. It's not as great as many of his previous (and beloved) works are, nor is it as technically adept. It is, however, filled with that unique Dante brand of whimsy that made his Gremlins movies so enjoyable.

I've also seen interviews with the cast exclaiming how they basically wanted to make this movie because of Joe Dante, especially Anton Yelchin. Together, he, Ashley Greene, and Alexandra Daddario are all pretty in-demand young actors, and it speaks volumes that they wanted to do this movie because of their respect for Joe Dante as a director.

So whether or not this is a perfect movie is secondary to the amount of love that went into making it, and how well it shows on-screen. And it does.

Max is dating Evelyn; a hot chick who is great in bed, but who he can't stand. He wants to break up with her, but the sex is so good, and she's so crazy, that he's afraid to. Lucky for him, a city bus comes along and breaks up with her for him. For eternity. Unfortunately for him, he and Evelyn had previously made a promise to each other (in front of a voodoo doll), that they would be together forever, and not even death could keep them apart.

Max feels bad that his girlfriend died (especially since he was just about to dump her), and so he sits around moping, and being depressed and what not, until the super hot (and super cool) Olivia comes along; Olivia, you see, is not only a geek at heart, and a kind soul, but she has the best rack ever, and she has these eyes that looks like crystal clear pools of liquid heaven. Trying to put the tragedy of Evelyn behind him, Max and Olivia begin dating, which must be really hard on him, because she's so hard to look at. It also begs the question: How is this guy getting these super hot chicks?

Their romantic bliss is short-lived however, when Evelyn, making good on that whole "forever" promise thing, rises from the grave, hungry for... love? Yeah, not brains, but love. Max freaks out at seeing his reanimated ex, and even more so when he realizes that he's stuck with her again. I mean, how do you tell a psychotic, lovelorn zombie that you've found somebody else? I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that at least one person is going to get eaten alive out of this deal.

A truly odd romantic triangle ensues.

As a Horror Fan, hearing the name Joe Dante just has to make you happy. Since 1978, the man has given us some of the best Horror & Genre movies of all-time: The Howling, Gremlins, Explorers and The Burbs, to name a few. Even his seldom-seen 2007 effort, The Hole, was pretty damn good.

Burying the Ex, while not being as "good" as many of Dante's previous works, is still an enjoyable effort, especially for fans of more light-hearted and quirky Genre fare. It's definitely closer to being Gremlins 2 than it is The Howling. Or even the first Gremlins. Fun and light, is what this one is.

Aside from the fun aesthetic that Dante brings to his movies, it was the cast that made this one come off as well as it did. Anton Yelchin is an actor who we thought would be a bigger name by now, as he usually comes off as really likable in his roles, and he's perfect as the troubled boyfriend in this one. We've loved Alex Daddario from the start of her career, and honestly, she'll always be a welcome addition to us in any movie that she stars in. The big surprise for us though was Ashley Greene; we're usually not the biggest fans of hers, but she was really solid in this one, especially when her character became more sinister towards the end.

And can we take a quick second to acknowledge how awesome Dick Miller is? Sure, he only has a cameo in this one, but the long-time Dante collaborator (there isn't one movie of Dante's that he hasn't had at least a bit part in) still brings a smile to our faces, just for his showing up on-screen. Having grown up watching the guy in so many of our favorite movies, it's hard for us to believe that he's almost 87 years old. Time flies far too quickly.

On the bad side of things, there's not much about this movie that feels very new or groundbreaking. Its journey over predictable and familiar terrain was an enjoyable one, but it felt really generic at times. It also could have given us a bit more in the gore department. Finally, we would have preferred it if the movie had decided to be more of a straight Horror flick, or a straight-up comedy, instead of trying so hard to be both. Towards the end, when Ashely Greene's character stops being the "OMG, I'm dead but I still love you!" girlfriend, and turned into a darker "Screw it, I'm killing everybody!" pissed-off zombie, we were really excited. Too bad there wasn't more of the darker stuff, earlier on.

Lots of critics are giving this movie less-than-stellar reviews, and we mostly get why they're doing so, but we just don't agree. We liked it, Negative Nancys be damned! It wasn't perfect, not by a long shot, but it was enjoyable enough that we were able to ignore its issues, and just go with it. If you can do the same, you'll have a lot of fun with this one too.


Burying the Ex is available now on VOD.


Alexandra Daddario and Ashley Greene make us want to bury our ex, if you know what I mean. *Don't judge us.


  1. "perfect ...now hold still" awesome!

  2. Alexandra Daddario is a national treasure and I believe we should celebrate her with some sort of federal holiday. That is all.