Zach’s girlfriend Beth tragically dies from a snakebite while hiking in the woods. The funeral is very sad, and Zach is having trouble coping with the change, especially since his own family is too self-absorbed and ignorant as to how Zach is suffering. He forms a friendship with Beth’s parents, but then becomes befuddled when they suddenly shut him out. Zach goes to investigate and finds that Beth may not be dead after all.
Most of Romero’s zombie films aren’t about zombies. Life About Beth follows this precedent, in that even though Zach’s girlfriend is now a zombie, and other zombies pop up all over the town, this is not a movie about zombies. This is about a fragile guy, Zach, who’s having trouble getting over his girlfriend. He was passionately in love with her, and this movie explores Zach’s tortured process of learning to let Beth go, and how the return of zombie Beth makes letting go even tougher.
Zach’s struggle seems genuine, but his supporting cast of weird family members are modern day updates from a John Hughes movie – one-dimensional exaggerations of people that don’t support Zach. It has a few darkly funny moments, but nothing hilarious. The actors are great, and the cast is surprisingly well known: John C. Reilly, Anna Kendrick, Molly Shannon, Paul Reiser, Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan. Worth a look if you want a horror film that isn’t really a horror film.