Directed by Jessica Jeffries
Starring Charlotte Dunnico, Shaun Cowlishaw, Gerard Arthur-Murphy,
Short film review by Chris Olson
The idea of a "hero" character in a zombie film is always plagued with inconsistencies. Indeed, the brutal nature of a post-apocalyptic world brings with it the need for an archetypal rugged alpha who holds the prerequisite survival skills to endure, which very often contradict traditional connotations of heroism. Central characters in zombie films almost always need to disconnect from their former emotional sensibilities if they are going to be able to land a giant axe in a Walker's head. This is where Jessica Jeffries' short film, See You Tomorrow, is particularly effective.
Opening in a nondescript wooded locale, we are quickly introduced to the two central characters; Grace (Charlotte Dunnico) and Zack (Shaun Cowlishaw). Roll on zombie #1, who has some pretty awesome make up, and the audience quickly gathers this is an all-too familiar genre piece. We discover that Grace seems to be suffering from memory loss and does not recall this world she inhabits (a classic sci-fi trope), whilst Zack is aware and quickly catches Grace up on basic survival techniques - which she is definitely going to need as she has a giant zombie bite mark chunked out of her arm.
If you can get past the textbook feel to the plot so far, and we suggest you do, you can then explore this movie from an intimate vantage point, as Jeffries consistently places the viewer in the role of the decisionmaker. Whether it’s with a Peepshow-esque first-person camera shot, or moving the camera between the different choices available to Grace, this short film is made up of wonderful challenges for the audience to engage with. One such choice is seeing a non-Walker stranded on the roof of a car whilst a harem of undead attempt to grab a handful of her. Opting for the relative safety of a nearby house, Grace chooses to abandon the stranger to a certain, grisly death. This emotionally charged challenge to the audience, along with the fantastic make-up, are the two biggest strengths of this movie.
Whilst the character of Grace is a basic everywoman, Dunnico does well to capture the vulnerability and conflict which ravage her. Cowlishaw is fantastic as the supporting player, and arguably delivers the stronger performance, particularly in adding a degree of intrigue into the motives of Zack. See You Tomorrow has a somewhat subversive ending, and sadly concludes itself on rocky footing with the introduction of Gerard Arthur-Murphy's cartoonish Lawrence Blair. Without giving much away, all is explained and feels slightly cheapened by doing so.
That being said, the initial two-thirds is a really great addition to an already difficult genre to have a voice in. We for one would enjoy a feature of Grace and Zack, with a glut of dastardly decisionmaking thrown in to the filmmaking to create a more compelling zombie flick.
Click here for more film reviews.