DVD Review: ‘After.Life’ Notable Only For Being So Awful

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Loyal readers will know that I am often forgiving of bad horror films merely due to my love for the genre but there’s nothing that can save “After.Life” from the company of the worst movies of 2010. The copious nudity from Christina Ricci and the admittedly interesting premise may draw those who haven’t seen it to this monumentally stupid film but prepare to lose a few brain cells in the process.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 1.0/5.0
DVD Rating: 1.0/5.0

A common criticism of horror films is that too many writers have been inspired by great anthology shows like “The Twilight Zone” or “The Outer Limits” and they fail to realize that while their idea may be interesting enough to have made a great half-hour episode of television, it falls apart when stretched to the running time of a feature film. If you’re ever trying to make this point in the future, “After.Life” would be a PERFECT example of something that simply wasn’t filled out into an actual movie after the main idea was conceived. (In fact, a very similar concept was actually executed — and much more successfully — on “Tales From the Crypt.”)

Said idea is that a young woman (Christina Ricci) wakes up in a funeral home after a horrible car accident…or does she? The funeral director (Liam Neeson) explains to her that she’s actually dead and that he has the ability to speak to people on their way from life to the other side. But she begins to doubt this explanation and is convinced that she’s being held by a madman. The audience is forced to question whether or not they’re watching a ghost story or serial killer movie long after they care about the answer. Either reading of the film only reveals the project’s immense stupidity and deep, deep flaws.

After Life will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 3rd, 2010
After Life will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 3rd, 2010
Photo credit: Anchor Bay

Liam Neeson made a number of bad decisions this year including “Chloe” and “Clash of the Titans” (although he was slightly redeemed by “The A-Team”) but “After.Life” is the worst film of his career. It’s a thriller with no thrills and a horror movie that’s biggest scare is the realization of how you could be better-spending your time.

“After.Life” is one of the most repetitive movies ever made, consisting almost entirely of conversations between Neeson and a usually-naked Ricci about whether or not she’s actually dead inter-cut with enough dream sequences to make David Lynch roll his eyes and sequences of the consistently dull Justin Long over-emoting about the loss of the love of his life. Yawn. The only reason to pick up the DVD is if you have trouble sleeping. Boring horror movies are common but what distinguishes “After.Life” is the pretension with which the boredom is doled out. The team behind “After.Life” thinks their film is saying something about death, life and love when it’s really saying absolutely nothing at all. Over and over again.

Special Features:
o “Delving Into the After.Life: The Art of Making a Thriller”
o Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo
o Theatrical Trailer

“After.Life” stars Liam Neeson, Christina Ricci, Justin Long, Chandler Canterbury, and Josh Charles. It was written by Agineszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo and Paul Vosloo & Jakub Korolczuk and directed by Wojtowicz-Vosloo. It will be released on DVD on August 3rd, 2010 and is rated R.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

Anonymous's picture

This critic sucks!

Man do I hate amateurs pretending to be reviewers. This is one of the major downsides of the web… anyone can be a critic. And this critic sucks. His reviews are so lame and more interested in trying to be entertaining (must try harder) than actually reviewing the movie. I actually saw this movie and, like a lot of other people (and yes even some critics), it blew me away. Now granted it’s not for everyone, but to give it so little respect shows that this reviewer clearly didn’t get the movie. And by the way, it isn’t a horror movie, it’s a psychological thriller. And an awesome one at that!

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