Macabre...ish Horror Review: Death Becomes Her



Death Becomes Her, 1992/ 1 hr 44 min. Madeline (Meryl Streep) invites Helen (Goldie Hawn), her long time rival, and her fiancé Ernest (Bruce Willis), backstage after her show.



Ernest is smitten with Madeline and breaks up with Helen to be with her. Seven years later Helen ends up in a psychiatric hospital after years of fixating on Madeline.



She fakes recovery and plots her revenge. 



Another 7 years later, Madeline and Ernest live a miserable existence in Beverly Hills.



Her career has dried up and Ernest’s career as a plastic surgeon is over, as a reconstructive mortician, being an alcoholic isn’t much of a problem. They receive an invitation to a party celebrating Helen’s book release and Madeline goes to a spa to look her best and is sent to a woman specializing in youth rejuvenation. She passes on that and she and Ernest arrive at the party and are floored by Helen, she’s stunning! 


Madeline goes to the youth rejuvenator, Lisle (Isabella Rossellini), she claims to be in her 70s but looks many decades younger and glamorous.



She presents a potion that promises eternal life and youth but it’s expensive. There’s is one condition, she must disappear from public life after 10 years to hide the existence of the potion and take care of your body. Madeline buys and drinks the potion, recovering her youthful appearance. 



Helen seduces Ernest and convinces him to kill his wife. When Madeline returns, she and Earnest fight and she falls down stairs and breaks her neck.



Believing her to be dead, he calls Helen and Madeline approaches his, with her head twisted backwards. He assumes is dislocated and takes her to the ER where she’s pronounced dead and takes her to the morgue. When she reawakens after fainting from the news of her death, Ernest takes her back home to repair her. 



Helen arrives, demands answers and Madeline overhears their plot and shoots a hole through Helen, revealing she drank the potion too.



Ernest’s life turn into one of constantly maintaining these two until he gets fed up and prepares to leave. They plan a ruse to get him to drink the potion but it doesn’t work. He escapes. Lisle banishes the two of them from her group and Madeline and Helen spend the next 37 years taking care of each other, and as the other’s only companion. Right up until Ernest’s funeral.



And then after.



This is a really good dark comedy horror. It’s wacky, campy and weird. It has an all star cast and they all do well. I don’t think I’ve seen any of them in another movie like this. It’s not scary, more shocking than anything. Plenty of CG but this movie is about the ridiculousness of a lot of bad situations. I really enjoyed this.


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