Review: You’re Dead, Helen (2021)

Courtesy of Slash FF

There is that creepy phrase from the marriage liturgy going ‘Til death do us apart’ which – of course, had to be included in such a thing as a wedding ceremony to remind you that it might be “the best day of your life”, but that, in case that you’re so unlucky that the person you’re marrying is a plonker and you can’t afford a good divorce lawyer, you would have to wait until one of you kicks the bucket to get rid of them.

Now, expand that deal to ‘even death won’t do you apart’, and it gets really bad, especially if you’re still with both feet on the ground, and not 6 under it like your (now) ex partner.

This is the exact problem that Maxime (Theophile Mou) is facing way after an accident that took the life of his girlfriend Helen (Lucile Vignolles). A request and a promise exchanged between them shortly after the fatal event will result in something of an uneven relationship, with Hélène being clingy and Maxime not knowing what to do.

The thing is: Helen has taken her part of the deal very seriously. She is everywhere Maxime goes, be it in the cinema, public transport or an actual date, and she isn’t ready to compromise. The living have to comply to her wishes, and since she in’t visible to anyone except Maxime, he’s the one who has to deal with ‘problems’.

That some of them could grow into more than just unpleasant situations becomes clear when the stubborn ghost becomes jealous of her ex’ new love interest (Mailys Dumon).

Now, Helen is dead dead, nothing of Beth Slocum (Jeff Baena’s Life After Beth, 2014) or Evelyn (Joe Dante’s Burying the Ex, 2014), but the fact that she doesn’t have a pair of sharp clickers doesnt make her any less thirsty for some good old mayhem.

Michael Blanchart’s horror comedy You’re Dead, Helen celebrated two victories at Slash Film Festival: It was voted as the “Competition Winner Short Film“ by the audience in the Fantastic Shorts Competition, and nominated for the Méliès d’argent by the jury comprising of Jörg Buttgereit, Merryl Roche and Lola Basara.

This are the 17th & 18th consequtive awards for the film which has previously won prizes at IndieLisboa International Independent Film Festival, at Odense, Rhode Island IFF, Off-Courts Trouville, Monterrey, Grimmfest, Austin Fantastic Fest, and in Brussels where it bagged four awards.

You’re Dead Helen is an entertaining trip through various genre influences, with occasional nods to Lars Damoiseaux’ Yummy (2019) or Jerry Zucker’s Ghost (1990).

Country: France, Belgium
Language: French
Runtime: 25′
Written/ Directed by: Michiel Blanchart
Sound design: Antoine Wattier
Assistant Director: Pierre Jacquin
Foreign Producer: Michaël Goldberg
Director of Photography: Sylvestre Vannoorenberghe
Assistant Operator: Tom Van Der Borght
Production manager: Alice Leclercq
Executive Producer: Boris Van Gils
Executive Producer: Ana Da Costa
Production Designer: Sophie Boury
Costume Designer: Manon Golembieski
Grader: Grégory Rodriguez
Sound Mixer: Lionel Guenoun
Sound Editor: Antoine Wattier
Sound Recordist: Albert Van de Bui
Music Composer: Victor Fournier-Novak
Voice-overs: Stéphanie Goemaere, Réal Siellez
Camera Operator: Édouard Outters
Editor: Matthieu Jamet
Continuity supervisor: Baptiste Guiard
Special Effects: Romain Toumi
Make-up Artist: Muscari Kokkinos