Published Sep 26, 2007Just Buried is a dark comedy about death and the funeral home business but, due to the predictable plot "twists and slow pacing, the humour is closer to grey than black. Filmed in Nova Scotia, Just Buried has a typically Canadian feel, though it doesnt draw too much attention to its Canuck pedigree.
Oliver Whynacht (Jay Baruchel) inherits a funeral home from his estranged father, unfortunately the business has plummeted towards bankruptcy since a new funeral home has opened up nearby. Oliver, along with the funeral homes attractive mortician, Roberta (Rose Byrne), accidentally run over a local man and decides to cover up the crime. Soon, Oliver and Roberta begin to kill other residents to hide their misdeeds and bring in much needed business.
Just Buried isnt bad by any means but the tension and discomfort necessary for a black comedy to evoke nervous laughter never fully emerge. Oliver and Roberta seem to always be in control of the escalating violence of their lives and that violence is not horrific or shocking enough to bring about a gruesome wince.
The film clocks in at only 93 minutes, the predictability of the ending causes the last 20 minutes to tick by slowly as you wait for the inevitable conclusion. Baruchel, recognisable from films such as Knocked Up and Undeclared, is well cast in the lead role as a geeky, unwitting accomplice to Robertas nefarious plans. The film also co-stars a few recognisable Canadian character actors, such as Graham Green as the funeral homes caretaker and Nigel Bennet as the towns Chief of Police.
In the end, Just Buried fails to push enough boundaries to truly work as a black comedy, instead this film comes across as a slightly over the top comedy of errors. (Seville)