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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review of film: “AFTER.LIFE”

Review of film:  AFTER.LIFE


Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo


Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo

Paul Vosloo


Liam Neeson           
Justin Long  
Christina Ricci
Josh Charles           
Chandler Canterbury         
Celia Weston
Anna Kuchma         
Rosemary Murphy  
Shuler Hensley       

Malachy McCourt    

MPAA Rating:

R for nudity, disturbing images, language and brief sexuality.


“You have to look beautiful at the funeral.”
“It feels like you’re somewhere else.”
“I’m nothing like my mother.”
“You’re in a funeral home.  You’re dead.”
“You all say the same thing.”
“You look far away from me.”
“Who’s going to take care of me now?”
 “Jack has an empathy with the dead.”
“I can help you. I can teach you.”
“What did you want from life?”
“I have to bury them.”
“Why did you lie to me?!”
“I never said she was alive…”

MY Rating:

6.5 of 10 stars (based on an advance screening of the approx. 100-minute film).

If “You’re a corpse… Your opinion DOESN’T MATTER anymore!…”

My title above is based on probably the most “classic” line uttered in this unusual film…

…  Paul (JUSTIN LONG) is a lawyer who can’t seem to do things “right” in his relationship with pretty teacher girlfriend Anna Taylor (CHRISTINA RICCI).  He considers her his fiancee, wants to present a ring to her, but she misunderstands his intentions, leaves the restaurant--  & ends up in a horrific CAR CRASH

…  When we next see her, she’s being “prepared” for her FUNERAL by mortuary director Eliot Deacon (LIAM NEESON)…  But, with the way Liam is talking to her, it appears she isn’t really DEAD…  Her mother Beatrice (CELIA WESTON) is a bitter woman who hates Justin for supposedly “causing” a break with her daughter… 

…  In time, we meet a shy student of Christina’s named Jack (CHANDLER CANTERBURY) who is quite upset upon hearing of her death, & he regularly visits the gothic-looking funeral home…  Justin is stunned when he hears the news of the crash, & tries to get his policeman friend Tom Peterson (JOSH CHARLES) to investigate whether Christina is actually DECEASED

…  Meantime, we keep seeing scenes of Christina “FIGHTING” with Liam & trying to ESCAPE from his clutches…  Justin keeps trying to “find” her, Jack seems to SEE her in a window, & confusion keeps raging back & forth about just what “condition” she’s truly in…

…  Is Christina really DEAD?…  Will she be able to get AWAY on her own?…  Will Justin be able to FIND her in “time”?…  Is Liam truly the “evil” character he often appears to be?…  What is Chandler’s real “position” in the plot?…  What surprise “TWISTS” will turn up at the end of the film?…

…  Before the movie, an associate said he hadn’t heard much of anything about the movie--  but, as long as Christina was NAKED in it (-- which she frequently IS --), he knew he’d “love” it!…   And, when it was over, it was definitely ALL he’d “hoped” it would be…  But, other friends were NOT “contented” with it at all…

…  Overall, this movie came across to me as almost like an eerie episode of the old TV series “OUTER LIMITS”…  It’s played “straight” as a horror / thriller (rather than as any “joke”), &, given the plot, it’s actually decently ACTED & often deftly directed (with unexpected twists), which is why I rated it as I did… 

…  But, it’s not a “pleasant” theme (in how it revolves around being “animated” about the EXPIRED), it’s not truly “terror”-hinged (as in the “vampire” movies so en-vogue nowadays), & all that will probably “impact” its success a great deal… 

…  It’s FASCINATING on certain psychological levels, tho the ending leaves it recurrently DIS-“HEART”-ENING at its core…  But, it could turn out to be a “CULT” favorite with some people because of how it’s “handled”…

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