I really wanted to like Burying the Ex, because it's directed by Joe Dante, who was a prolific filmmaker in the '80s with films like Gremlins, The Howling and Innerspace, but it's not easy for him to get funding for a feature these days because he hasn't had a hit film in years, and also the fact that he is no spring chicken. Burying the Ex, a mild horror-comedy, just doesn't have much spark.
This dark comedy opens with horror and science fiction enthusiast Max (Anton Yelchin) constantly being henpecked by his controlling girlfriend, Evelyn (Ashley Greene). As luck would have it, Evelyn is hit by a bus and dies, then Max reunites with Olivia (Alexandra Daddario), who is a science fiction-loving nerd's fantasy – she is devastatingly beautiful, loves the films produced by Val Lewton, and understands the pop cultural significance of Fruit Brute cereal. However, Max's lucky streak soon runs out because Evelyn returns from the grave and acts like nothing has changed. She continues to boss Max around, even though she's a zombie.
The two actresses seem to be having fun, especially Green, but Yelchin's character constantly mopes around with a rain cloud over his head. It's not fun when the hero is a bore. And it's also not fun when the film never catches fire.
I partly blame the screenplay by Alan Trezza, which is based on his short film, because it takes forever to get going and where it goes isn't surprising or interesting...or very funny. I also blame Dante's flat direction. Sure, there are oodles of horror and science fiction movie references that you would expect from a Dante film, but the style and energy of his past movies are nowhere to be found. This just plays like a bland made-for-TV movie.
Dammit, I had hopes for this one.
Burying the Ex is currently streaming online.