After.Life

 
(i)

 

Confusing chiller explores death; too dark for teens.
  • Review Date: April 9, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie attempts a message about learning to live and appreciate one's life, but it's at once too simplistic and too muddled. Characters say how they want to be happy or want to find love, but no one seems to know how to accomplish these things.

Positive role models

Most of the movie's characters are not admirable people. The funeral director Eliot Deacon is perhaps the most polite, but he's also impatient and unforgiving. Anna is rather chilly and cold-hearted and her boyfriend Paul is prone to fits of violence and drinking. Even the little boy, Jack, who may or may not have the power to speak to the dead, reveals a cruel streak.

Violence

Aside from some verbal assaults, some blood, and some mild car crashes, the movie has a very strong, negative mood of death, with images of dead bodies and decay, as well as some ghosts and gory visions. Anna wields a pair of scissors as a potential weapon, but does not use them. Worst of all, a grown-up strikes an 11-year-old child across the face.

Sex

Anna appears naked often in this movie, but mostly as a "corpse" in the basement of a funeral parlor. When she's not naked, she wears a sexy red negligee. She appears naked in the shower twice, once in silhouette, and once as part of a gory nightmare. In one scene, she and her boyfriend Paul have passionless, troubled sex in bed, with a glimpse of Anna's breasts.

Language

We hear strong language throughout, including multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t." There is also "jack off" (used as an insult), "God," (as an exclamation), "Goddamn," "asshole," "hell," and "piss."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Anna pops prescription pills, and Paul drinks (wine and whiskey) to overindulgence when upset. They both drink and drive. Eliot Deacon gives Anna several injections to "relax her muscles."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that After.Life -- a psychological horror film that's more depressing than it is scary -- features a female character who is nude or wearing a negligee throughout much of the film. She is also supposed to be dead, even though she's conscious, and is under the control of a creepy male undertaker who seems to drug her into submission. The movie explores death extensively and doesn't offer much in the way of hope or positive characters. It features a great deal of swearing (including "asshole," "s--t" and "f--k,"), drinking and drugs (including driving while intoxicated), and general, simmering anger. Also, an adult hits a child across the face in anger.

What's the story?

Schoolteacher Anna (Christina Ricci) isn't very happy. She pops pills and doesn't seem to get along with her boyfriend Paul (Justin Long). Just as he is about to propose to her, they fight, and she drives off in a rainstorm. She wakes up on a slab in a funeral home, where a soft-spoken funeral director, Eliot Deacon (Liam Neeson), informs her that she's dead. Eliot claims to have a "gift" that allows him to speak to dead people, but Anna doesn't know what to believe. Paul seems to think that Anna is still really alive and that Eliot has some kind of fiendish plan afoot. As Paul tries to unravel the mystery, Anna gets more and more confused, and so does the audience...

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Despite the appealing cast, an interesting ambiance, and some very ambitious subject matter, AFTER.LIFE doesn't really work either as a scary movie or as a food-for-thought cautionary tale. It's dreary and depressing, with a relentlessly negative, almost angry tone. The movie's message about finding a point to life is both overly simplistic and frustratingly muddled. And those looking for scares will find the movie lacking too -- when the infrequent scary parts pop up, they don't pack much of a punch.

Moreover, the movie has the feel of something that could be a wonderful Sixth Sense-like puzzle, but refuses to make anything clear or satisfying. With an ambigious ending, viewers might end up wondering, "What's the point?" For horror fans looking for something meatier than the usual fare, After.Life gives them something to chew on, but ultimately, it might leave a bad taste.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether the movie was scary or not. Can psychological thrillers sometimes be scarier than outright violent horror movies? Why? What different elements make a movie scary? How do you deal with feeing scared from movies or TV -- does it ever effect you after the movie or show is over?

  • Did Paul and Anna really love each other? If not, was that the reason they went through their ordeals?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 9, 2010
DVD release date:August 2, 2010
Cast:Christina Ricci, Justin Long, Liam Neeson
Director:Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo
Studio:Anchor Bay Entertainment
Genre:Horror
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:nudity, disturbing images, language and brief sexuality.

This review of After.Life was written by

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Quality

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bynationaltreasure February 1, 2011
 

NOT GOOD FOR ANYONE 17 OR UNDER

Terrible! Not good for anyone 17 or under! Should have been rated NC-17 and NOT FOR KIDS.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byMovieMom1977 August 5, 2010
 

Peepshow nudity and NO real movie here!

Could have been a great mystery type movie. The plot was promising and alot like the sixth sense. Ended up a bit repetitive and predictable. Anna is completely nude from mid way through the movie with lots of slow shots of her body and breasts. Sad to see so much nudity... makes me sick. I would not recommend to anyone :(
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written bywonder dove December 30, 2012
 

Don't give in to all the bad reviews....

Why are there so many bad reviews here? This film is definitely underrated and misunderstood. I found it depressing and disturbing yet a refreshing take on life after death. The main character Anna (Christina Ricci) is a sad, confused woman who is afraid to love, so she pushes her boyfriend Paul (Justin Long) away even though his love for her stays strong. One night after a dinner with Paul, and him almost proposing, she drives off upset and gets into a car crash which supposedly causes her death. She awakens to the face of Elliott Deacon (Liam Neeson) who is a funeral director that tries to convince her that only he can talk to the dead. Anna is not the only one who refuses to believe it - Paul doesn't believe that she is really dead either, he notices a few signs that make sense that Anna must still be alive and that Elliott is a complete nut case. But is he? The film is really different, it actually makes you think. It's also dark and eerie which is perfect for horror/thriller lovers. Sexual content includes some nudity throughout the middle of the film - Anna appears topless for a good 5-6 minutes straight. There is one quick sex scene which is the opening scene of the film where you see Anna's breasts for a few seconds - also a nightmare shower scene with her breasts shown. During a viewing of dead bodies, a perverted man tries to take a look at Anna's naked body under the sheet. Violence includes non-graphic car crashes, an upset guy hits a small child out of anger but then apologizes, lots of frightening scenes with dead corpses' that come alive, arguments, and some gory scenes. Language is strong with many "F" words present. Prescription pills and drugs that are injected into Anna are used. Certainly not for kids! Want more good reviews? Read them on IMDB site and see why this is actualy a very good movie!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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