Monster Reviews: She Never Died (2019) – Phoenix Fear Con 2019

While attending the Phoenix FearCon VIII at Sun Studios of Arizona, I had the chance to check out the 2019 film, She Never Died. It’s a stylish, brooding, edge of your seat thriller that’s sure to be a hit. The film is currently making its way through the festival circuit, already racking up awards along the way. 

She Never Died is a dark fantasy thriller written by Jason Krawczyk and directed by Audrey Cummings. It stars Olunike Adeliyi, Peter MacNeill, Kiana Madeira, Michelle Nolden, Edsson Morales, and Noah Dalton Danby. When a girl goes missing, a woman with a mysterious past tracks down the people responsible.

This is a “sister” film, if you will, to the 2015 fantasy horror He Never Died, starring Henry Rollins. It’s not so much a sequel, but instead, the powerful flip side to the original cult hit. In this film, we see everything from the opposite perspective and follow a woman who suffers the same fate as Jack (Rollins). Not only is there a female lead this time around, but the character’s existence is the complete b-side to the protagonist from the original version.

Olunike Adeliyi is nothing short of magical in the lead role. There’s just something truly remarkable and inspiring about her subtle yet hangry performance. She’s a bit off-kilter, and while the character needs to kill for sustenance, she’s definitely not happy about it. Lacey (Adeliyi) does a tremendous job of displaying her disdain and disapproval of the ritual. 

Although Lacey is a creature with the need to feast, similar to her male counterpart, she gives us everything that was missing in the first film. Instead of trying to suppress urges, she indulges in them by taking down criminals and scum that infest the city. She’s homeless and keeps to herself while doing her best to escape the daily mundane. That is until human traffickers show up and kidnap a young woman she’s grown fond of, causing all hell to break loose.

The directing is excellent and the film is very fluent. There’s never a wasted moment, and every scene and transition is captivating and absorbing. The cinematography is impressive and there’s also some top-notch gore in there for the hounds, as well. She Never Died actually plays more like a horror film, despite being labeled to the contrary.

With strong performances from the entire cast and the perfect anti-hero, it’s hard not to fall in love with this amazing film. The element of human trafficking is a rather simple storyline, however, mixed with Lacey’s shrouded backstory, it’s intriguing enough to keep the film afloat atop all the glorious carnage. It’s a twisted tale that provides further insight into the ongoing war between good and evil in the initial film. 

She Never Died is a brutal, ferocious, gritty thriller that pulls no punches. It’s got heart, humor and without a doubt, will leave you bloodthirsty for more. If you get the chance, I highly urge you to go see this film. You don’t want to miss it.

Posted by Donovan Smith

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