Every Time I Die (2020)

Robi Michael

Running Time: 97 Minutes

Starring: Drew Fonteiro, Marc Menchaca, Melissa Macedo, Michelle Macedo, Tyler Fleming

When a group of friends journey to a remote lake, it ends in tragedy as Sam (Drew Fonteiro) is murdered. This isn't the end of his story, as Sam's consciousness travels into the body of his best friend, Jay (Marc Menchaca). The story sounds too farfetched to believe, causing the friends to worry for Jay's mental health. For Sam, his mission is clear; to protect his friends from the killer.

In the films early moments, director Robi Michael allows us to get into Jay's headspace through a well-crafted point of view shot. This neat idea allows us to see things through our lead's eyes, a trick which would rightfully be repeated later on. While the first instance is Jay trying to entice a woman to stay for breakfast, the next one would have a greater sense of urgency, of him realising the horrific circumstances.

Working on the script with Gal Katzir, Michael utilizes a high-concept twist to tell this character drama about longing and regret. Jay is left feeling dejected, believing he's lost the woman he loves. At the same time, he's experiencing intense pains in his head, which cause him to blackout. It appear to be linked to a past trauma, and you can see how these buried memories resurging are causing such pain. Drew Fonteiro expresses how this is affecting him, as though it's a burden he must carry, irregardless of whether he wants to.

After the half-hour mark, the story delves into the science-fiction elements to make use of its intriguing plot, yet also highlights some weaknesses. Of the characters who are pivotal to the story, only Jay feels like a fleshed out character, and that mainly occurs after his death. At best, some of the other characters lean into the tropes you expect of them, but they largely exist just as bodies to service Jay's tale. Between the story and the somewhat intrusive flashbacks, it feels a bit repetitive with some points being dragged out. It's a shame, as they detract from a great idea which carried such potential.

Every Time I Die is available to rent from 26th October