After.Life (2010) Review

After.Life (2010) Review

Starring Christina Ricci (Sleepy Hollow, Speed Racer), Liam Neeson (The A-Team, Taken), Justin Long (Accepted, Drag Me to Hell) and Chandler Canterbury (Knowing, The Curious Case of Benjamin /button), and directed by Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo, After.Life is a psychological thriller set in a funeral home where nothing is as it seems.

Anna (Christina Ricci), a school teacher, is a distant girl. Aloof and barely able to connect with her boyfriend Paul (Justin Long), she doesn’t seem to be grabbing life by the balls, but rather avoiding it. When Anna is involved in a car accident one night and wakes up on a slab in a funeral home, her outlook on life changes now that she’s facing the possibility that she might actually be dead.

After.Life (2010)

Elliot (Liam Neeson), the funeral director, assures her that her distress is normal and explains that she is merely in transition to the afterlife. As he prepares her body and dresses her for a viewing, he tells her that he has a gift for communicating with the dead, but begins to lose his patience with her as she continues her escape attempts. Is her helping her or holding her captive? With her funeral fast approaching, time is running out. Anna is forced to ask herself if life is really worth fighting for or if she’s better off dead. The third option of course is that she might be buried alive.

After.Life is a film which aims to keep you guessing and leaves you wondering what you would do if you woke up dead one morning. Would you accept that the inevitable has happened and be ready to face what comes next? The answer to that depends of course on how you’ve lived your life; did you grab life, making sure you got as much out of it as you could, or did you live full of fear and regret? While the film is not perfect, these questions do remain long after the viewing. How many of us live life the way Anna does; wanting but afraid to give? Anna lives in the void between life and death and this is apparent in scenes prior to the accident; Paul reaches out to her while she showers, the misty shower screen separates them. Anna was long dead and living in limbo before she reached the funeral home.

After.Life (2010)

Young Chandler Canterbury who plays Jack, one of Anna’s students, turns in another remarkable performance. His wide-eyed curiosity at how things work leads him right to the funeral home where he watches Elliot at work. His innocence and enthusiasm as he follows Elliot in learning to use their shared gift makes you fear for him much more than Anna because he has much to lose if Elliot is really not what he seems.

Justin Long seems miscast in this role though; Paul would have been best played by a stronger lead actor to balance/contrast the passiveness of Christina’s Anna. Liam Neeson as Elliot is not as enigmatic as he could have been, this leaves the spotlight on Christina who is gothicly stunning and waiflike as always and little Chandler who has a very promising career ahead of him.

Static Mass Rating ★★★★★

Christina Ricci…………..Anna Taylor
Liam Neeson…………….Eliot Deacon
Justin Long………………Paul Coleman
Chandler Canterbury…..Jack

Official Site

After.Life is out to own on Blu-ray and DVD from September 6th 2010 from Anchor Bay Entertainment.

- Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo
- Delving Into The AFTER.LIFE: The Art Of Making A Thriller
- Theatrical Trailer

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