After.Life is a suspenseful drama/horror movie about a young woman who is involved in a car accident (Christina Ricci; Black Snake Moan). But she awakens inside a funeral home. The mortician (Liam Neeson; Taken) tells her that he has a special ability to talk to the dead and help them transition from life. She can’t help wondering if this is the truth though. Her boyfriend (Justin Long; Accepted) is grieving and suspects the mortician is up to no good. Is she dead? Is this all a trick? The movie is directed by Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo who also co-wrote the script with Jakub Korolczuk and Paul Vosloo.
I’ll be honest, sometimes I see a movie solely because I like a cast member. In the case of this movie I happened to like all the leads, but I grew up (and still have) a huge crush on Christina Ricci. She started as a child star but then grew into an indie film darling. But she seems to drop off the face of the earth for long periods of time so whenever I see her name on a movie I’m much more inclined to see it. If you’re like me and share this crush you’ll really enjoy this movie. After you get over her insane amount of nudity. Yeah she’s topless within the first minute of the movie post-credits, but then she spends a good 1/4 of the movie just walking around naked, although not in a sexual manner. She is supposed to be dead. But she’s a damn fine looking corpse, especially with her hair dyed red for this role.
But moving on and not being creepy, let’s talk about the movie itself. I was weary at first of the actual film. It seemed like boring typical trying to be surreal but just confusing indie fare. But I was very wrong. Well partially. The first half of the movie does movie pretty slow and it’s attempts at being suspenseful fail but you are never bored because the acting is so wonderful. Liam Neeson is always pretty brilliant and this is no exception. He plays the creepy mortician in a way that will give you chills. He’s really spooky. Then there’s Justin Long who I can’t remember in any role that required any significant dramatic acting. He really surprised me with his intensely realistic and moving portrayal of a man in mourning for his dead lover. He’s totally believable in a role that played wrong could be laughable. So really he deserves a ton of credit here. Also Ricci kicks some ass as well, but that goes unsaid.
One thing that I have to bring up is the period in the title. Yes that is the official title. It’s on the dvd cover, and the IMDb page. I have no idea why this is the title. It is pretty stupid and very confusing. Anyway the movie does get more suspenseful in the third act, where it also seems to definitively answer what is going on but if you think for a second there’s still too many questions to make that answer fully right. I don’t know if this was just a corner the filmmakers dug themselves into or not, but I actually enjoyed the little bit of ambiguity that you can ignore if you really must.
Anyway overall this is a recommended movie. Check it out as soon as you can. It’s available on Amazon VODas well as DVD and Blu-ray.