Burying the Ex (2014)
Director: Joe Dante
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, Alexandra Daddario & Oliver Cooper
Released by: RLJ Entertainment
Reviewed by Mike Kenny
From the director of Gremlins, Burying the Ex centers on monster movie aficionado Max (Anton Yelchin, Star Trek) and his beautiful, environmentally devoted girlfriend Evelyn (Ashley Greene, Twilight). Shortly after moving in together, Max grows weary of Evelyn’s controlling personality but, becomes fearful of calling it quits with her. By freakish fate, Evelyn is killed in an accident, allowing Max to carry on with his life and fall for likeminded horror movie hottie Olivia (Alexandra Daddario, San Andreas). Unfortunately, Evelyn returns from the grave to reclaim her boyfriend at all costs.
Based on the 2008 short film starring John Francis Daley (Freaks and Geeks), Burying the Ex brings horror and hilarity to the unpleasant practice of breaking up. Starring Anton Yelchin as monster fanatic Max with the inability to break up with his “go green” obsessed girlfriend Evelyn (Greene), the scooter-rider has fate do his dirty work for him when Evelyn is tragically killed in a freak accident. Equally distraught and relieved, Max carries on with his life and finds love again with fellow horror fan and ice cream parlor owner Olivia (Daddario). While juggling his mundane position at a local horror-themed costume shop, Max’s encounter with a satanic genie lamp comes back to haunt him when his dreaded ex returns from the grave to reclaim what is hers. Attempting to make his new relationship work while, procrastinating to sever ties with his recently deceased former flame, Max finds himself in six foot deep of trouble. With its trendy references to horror movie history feeling heavy handed at times, Burying the Ex still delivers an offbeat, quirky effort of young love that won’t die. Nicely cast with Yelchin and Daddario capturing worthwhile chemistry while, Greene entertains as the eco-friendly love interest before comically flying off the rails with jealousy as the rotting remains of her former self. In addition, Oliver Cooper (Runner Runner) steals scenes as Max’s half-brother Travis with a weakness for women and a hilarious distaste for Evelyn.
After a five year film hiatus, Director Joe Dante (The Howling, Matinee) returns once again proving his ability to relate to young souls still has a pulse. With background appearances from Hammer horror classics and B-movie favorites like Plan 9 From Outer Space, Burying the Ex makes Dante’s love for genre pictures apparent as the director’s encyclopedic knowledge seeps into the character’s adoration for Val Lewton and George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. Simple in its execution with several laughs to be had, Burying the Ex refuses to take itself seriously much to the delight of viewers. With a youthful cast and Dante’s anarchically fun direction on display, Burying the Ex is well worth digging up.
RLJ Entertainment presents Burying the Ex with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Digitally produced, Dante’s latest opus appears with natural skin tones and exceptional detail allowing for maximum appreciation of facial details and Greene’s deathly makeup. In addition, black levels are inky and pleasing with sequences in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery free of any crushing. Meanwhile, colors from Max’s lime green apartment to Daddario’s stunning blue eyes pop off the screen with wonderful clarity. Equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, dialogue is perfectly audible while, bone cracking sound effects and embalming fluid spewing make their presence effectively known. Musical selections offer a healthy boost to the track with the sequence at the goth-themed Club Death injecting a heavy bass groove. Unfortunately, no special features are included.
Fun and reminiscent of Dante’s earlier teen-centered efforts, Burying the Ex blends horror and romance for an entertaining love triangle, left better off dead. While its screenplay may slightly stumble, the entertaining performances and Dante’s love affair with horror and hijinks pick up the slack with ease. RLJ Entertainment delivers this comical look at the undead with a superb high-definition transfer and top-notch audio merits that will leave viewers more than satisfied. Resurrected from the grave, Burying the Ex will satisfy fans of Dante’s zany filmography and cartoony sensibilities.