We all deal with death in our own way. But what if it was our own death that we were dealing with? In Robi Michael’s (The Man Who Knew How To Fly 2010) new film, Every Time I Die, we get the answer to this question. This supernatural thriller is not a ghost story but something different entirely. It lets us in on the mystery of death, grief, and the afterlife.
When Sam is murdered in a remote lake, his consciousness begins to travel through the bodies of his friends in an effort to protect them from his killer. This dark passage leads him on a greater journey – discovering his own identity.
The film starts off in Sam’s (Drew Fonterio) point of view. This was an interesting direction to use POV, as it switches from Sam’s consciousness and travels through the bodies of his friends. We see the world through Sam’s eyes, so to speak. The whole piece overviews Sam’s tragic past. His sister drowns at an early age, which breaks his family apart. Sam feels responsible and carries the weight of her death over his entire life. Throughout the film, we get glimpses of the day his sister died.
Sam’s relationship with the other characters is awkward at best. The climax happens when the group of friends go up to a lake house: Jay (Marc Menchaca), Jay’s girlfriend. Poppy (Michelle Macedo), Sam’s lover, Mia (Melissa Macedo), and Mia’s husband, Tyler (Tyler Dash White). Mia ends the affair with Sam, telling him to leave. However, Tyler spots Mia and Sam kissing; he puts two and two together and viciously murders Sam. Sam’s consciousness jumps to his friends as he tries to warn them that Tyler killed him.
The pacing of the film is slow. One would expect that Sam would die at the beginning of the film, but it is about a half-hour in that we finally see Sam’s brutal murder. I understand that the blackouts and flashbacks are important, but they muddled the film, especially with most of the background lumped in the first half of the film. It isn’t until Sam starts jumping into his friends’ bodies that the pacing speeds up to the twist of an ending. The music adds to the overall feeling of the film. It shows the uneasiness and the haunting journeys that Sam goes through.
I enjoyed watching Every Time I Die. It was thrilling and a unique take on a supernatural thriller. I have to praise the cinematography, directing, and music. Every Time I Die is available in select theaters and on-demand on August 9, 2019.