After.Life

If you believe the all-knowing Internet, then you think this is either the best film ever or the worst film ever. Then again, on the Internet everything is either the best or worst thing ever. I can say after getting my hands on a copy and watching the film that, unlike many other recent horror flicks, After.Life has stuck with me and forced me to think. Depending on what you are looking for in a film that is either the best or worst thing ever. See what I did there?

Christina Ricci plays a young woman who is essentially a walking time bomb of trouble. After a fight with her boyfriend (Justin “I’m in every M-Effin’ movie right now” Long) she drives off angry, in a storm, forgoing a seatbelt, while texting, in between semis and other dangerous looking vehicles. Predictably, this doesn’t go over well with the movie Gods.

Ricci wakes up on an embalming table inside Liam Neeson’s funeral home/mortuary. Yes, she wakes up. Or does she? So begins the battle of wits. Neeson is adamant that Ricci is dead and that only he, due to some special 6th Sense-like ability, can hear her.

This is where the film gets a bit muddled. Is Neeson’s character a mastermind psycho killer that likes to mess with his victims? Is Ricci dead? Well, you can find out by listening to the director’s audio commentary, but what fun is that? The problem is either way you argue it, the film contradicts itself several times. I haven’t heard a compelling airtight argument from either side and don’t expect to anytime soon. There are clear points to be made for her being alive and for her being dead.

What does work incredibly well is the atmosphere. This film will stick with you. There is something rare going on here. I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on it, but I suspect the thought of what really happens to us after we die plays a large part. I sure as hell hope we don’t suffer the same fate as Ricci in the film.

For those of you, and I sure there is a considerable number, who just are into this movie because they heard Ricci gets naked just like she did in Black Snake Moan, won’t be disappointed. Ricci spends the majority of film naked or in a tiny red slip. And yes, it is cold in a funeral home. Quite cold. Cold does strange things to a human body. See where this is going?

One of the more inventive and unique horror films I have seen in quite some time. Though the plot is more than a little messy, After.Life will get under you skin and keep you thinking for quite some time. And to me, that is a good thing.

Snore Factor: ZZ (will keep you up)

IMDB 2009

Trailer:

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