Action / Drama / Horror / Mystery / Thriller


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June 30, 2016 at 06:04 PM


Liam Neeson as Eliot Deacon
Christina Ricci as Anna Taylor
Justin Long as Paul Coleman
Josh Charles as Tom Peterson
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753.97 MB
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 5 / 35
1.56 GB
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 5 / 25

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mags_04 10 / 10

Thoughtful and Creepy

What does it mean to be alive? Not a question you're going to find broached in 10,000 B.C. or 2012. But it is a question first time director Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo tackles in After.Life with surprising depth and skill. Christina Ricci plays Anna, a woman disconnected from her almost fiancé (Justin Long) and alienated by her mother, who moves about her days in a mostly apathetic haze. For the most part Anna's life seems, well, rather lifeless - until she wakes up on mortician Liam Neeson's slab only to learn that she is in fact dead. What exactly that means is the mystery.

My favorite way to see a movie is when I know next to nothing about it (so I won't spoil anything here!), and that's how I went into the AFI screening of After.Life last night. I knew the basic premise and a little about the story, but other than that - nada. Which I have to say is a great way to approach a thriller. The highlight for me was Liam Neeson (no real surprise there) who brings surprising warmth and complexity to what could have otherwise easily been a very two-dimensional character. The other standout was Chandler Canterbury as Jack, Anna's young student who has a little figuring out of his own to do. Their performances alone are worth the price of admission. The director's attention to detail, dream imagery, and color (most notably a scene where Neeson washes the dye from Ricci's hair as she lies stretched across an embalming table) reminded me of the stark, Gothic beauty of Six Feet Under and Dexter. That said, this film isn't cut and dry, doesn't tie everything up neatly at the end, and asks more questions than it answers. It's definitely not your typical American movie - something I consider a positive aspect. If you don't, then I'd suggest skipping this one an netflixing Twister.

Reviewed by Rizzlie 3 / 10

Good idea, great actors, but the film just has too many flaws.

I understand that this is a film that will divide opinions. Perhaps it is intelligent. Perhaps it has a most wonderful, original idea for a movie that made me rent it in the first place. Perhaps Liam Neeson and Christina Ricci are wonderful actors. But it doesn't change the fact that the film simply has too many flaws. You can accept a few in an otherwise good film, but having too many of them simply destroys the atmosphere. That is precisely what happened in this case, in my opinion.

Allow me to elaborate. George Lucas once said that a movie doesn't have to follow the rules of our reality in order to be believable, it just needs to follow the rules of its own reality. This is exactly where this movie fails. It creates an unexplained horror world where something absurd happens every now and then: lights go out every time a lady walks past them with a big noise until the whole corridor has turned black (how cliché is THAT?!), plastic bumping head starts suddenly moving for no apparent reason, following a guy when he is walking. I wish the movie would have at least allowed me to believe that it was something the characters imagined in their heads, as in some other, more respectable scenes. But no, the guy didn't even see the lifeless bumpy head moving, it just did so for no apparent reason. What is so "psychologically thrilling" about that?

These kinds of events go on and on. For example, after the might-be-dead lady escapes from the man holding her as prisoner, she suddenly starts bumping into walls (in a straight corridor!) and making a terrible noise. Possibly we are supposed to assume that she is so scared she has become hysteric, but then again she didn't seem hysteric either in the previous or in the following scene, nor is she in any immediate danger - the guy holding her as prisoner isn't really threatening in any way.

The words "for no apparent reason" are key words for several events in this movie. Believibility requires a reason for a cause. This movie doesn't provide them, just irregular events placed around the plot - events that more often than not don't affect the plot any way, I might add.

The most disturbing part for me, however, was the way it dealt with the questions of life and death. It tries to talk about in-depth questions - what happens to us when we die, and are we really that alive when we live our pathetic fear-run lives, and so forth - but ends up stating clichés such as "we die to make life more meaningful" or something along those lines. Something we have heard billion times before in every funeral (or B-class drama movie) we've gone to. The movie is filled with tons of other clichés as well - along the lines of "you are more afraid of living than of dying", and a small child telling the woman "I am you" when she asks who the kid is in her nightmare (or whatever you call them weird visions all the characters keep getting every now and then), and so forth. And the worst part is, these clichés just won't stop! There is hardly any action, just line after line, and EVERY SINGLE LINE seems to be one I've heard a dozen times before! I wonder if the screenwriters were on strike when this film was scripted, because a good idea just falls flat this way.

And finally - what exactly happens to a person when he/she dies? The question of whether he/she will go on living as a spirit of some sort is an intriguing question. That is a question that doesn't seem to concern this movie at all. The question that does concern this movie - whether the body can go on living, running in the hallways and throwing stuff around - is not an intriguing one, not to me at least. Sure, one could respect it in a 50's style zombie-horror-movie. And if this was one, I might accept it. But this isn't one. This is supposed to be an intellectual movie raising intellectual questions about life and death. To assume that we should even consider the possibility that a MATERIAL BODY jumping around throwing things (and BREATHING, for Christ's sake) could be DEAD, is underestimating the intelligence of the same audience for whom the movie is sold to as an "intelligent psychological thriller".

All of the above is more or less absurd. And I am a person who finds absurdity amusing. I suppose one could respect a movie for making one burst out a laughter every few minutes. But if its unintentional, there seems to be something wrong with either the script or directing (sometimes acting, too, but not in this case). Seriously, I did laugh every now and then. Out loud too, not just inside my head. And an "intelligent psychological thriller" shouldn't make you do that.

Liam Neesom is a wonderful actor - once again. That gives this film two stars. Third one for a good attempt to create something original - even though in my eyes the attempt somewhat failed in this case. I would love to give more stars to an original and a clever idea, but every time I try to go for the fourth a picture of the moving plastic head bumps into my head and once again I begin to laugh.

Reviewed by Samiam3 5 / 10

Good idea gone wrong

Driving carelessly in the rain one night, Anna Taylor has a car accident which kills her. She is DOA, or is she. Anna wakes up in the basement of the local funeral home, and the funeral director tells her that she is dead (with a certificate to prove it). He also tells her that he can talk to the dead. Anna wants out, but he will not let her leave, claiming that she must accept the truth. Is she really dead or is he nuts?

After Life has a great set-up, but from there, things get worse. What keeps the viewer hooked is the promise of an an upcoming climactic twist, like that in the Sixth Sense (the film which After Life has its roots in). Unfortunately, with each passing chapter, it becomes more evident that the outcome we would like is not going to come.

Yet what is more bothersome about After Life is that frankly it is dull. I see an idea here, but I don't see a movie. After Life recalls Awake in that it functions well as an experiment in psychologically related themes, but it doesn't provide exiting or suspenseful material. After Life has really nowhere to go, but down. Despite being partial fantasy, its inability to make sense is aggravating and not acceptable. After Life could have and should have been way more potent than this.

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