Sunday, July 15, 2012

Review: After.Life

I caught this film last night on my cable TV channel. It seemed interesting, though the execution could have been better.

Christina Ricci plays Anna Taylor, a middle schoolteacher who leads an unhappy life. Though she has a caring boyfriend whom she loves, she is unable to feel happy, which strains their relationship.

One night, her boyfriend Paul decides to propose to her, but it doesn't go according to plan. Anna drives off feeling upset and gets into a car accident. When she awakes, she finds herself on the mortician's table. The mortician, named Elliot, tells her that she's dead and he's preparing her for her funeral.

From this point on, Anna has a hard time accepting her death, since she can still speak to Elliot, though she can't feel any pain. Elliot keeps telling her that the reason they can communicate is because he has a gift of being able to talk to corpses. As she tries to escape from the funeral home, Paul himself has a hard time accepting her death and tries to find out if she is truly dead. 

The question is, is she really dead? Or is this a ruse from Elliot?

This question will constantly remain ambiguous throughout the film. I kept wondering just like Anna, is she dead or alive? I wanted to believe she was, since Elliot was acting so strange despite behaving normally.

The ambiguity however works both ways. Positively since it keeps you guessing, but also negatively because the film doesn't quite know what it wants to be. There are a handful of scenes meant to invoke horror, but they don't quite make sense when they appear. 

It is only in the final fifteen minutes or so when you realize the truth. If not for those misleading horror sequences I mentioned earlier, the ending would have been perfect.

Christina is somewhat suitable for the role of Anna. I had never really watched The Addams Family, but I still remember how she looked as Wednesday Addams, and she still looks that way here. Being a corpse on a table makes it fitting indeed. Liam Neeson is a bit miscast here. I'm too used to seeing him as an action hero, so I can't quite accept him as the supposedly devious mortician. Justin Long is basically playing the same role in Drag Me To Hell here as the caring but clueless boyfriend.

It is a semi fine attempt at making us think about life, death and what it feels like to lie down on a table at the funeral home. I'd give it a higher rating if they explained the horror sequences and gave the plot a bit more urgency. For now my rating is 2.5/5.

N.B.: There were several nude scenes of Christina, but I didn't get to see them because of censorship. Damn.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


My family went on a vacation. Without me.

So finally I have some time to myself. Two and a half days to be exact. Time to spend.

It'll be quieter than usual. I'll have an opportunity to get some things done. It's liberating and yet at the same time intimidating. Being alone isn't all that's cracked up to be. Some things which you took for granted before now falls on your shoulders to take responsibility for.

By the time I actually get used to this, they'll be home, so no big deal I guess. So the only thing left to do is to make the most of it.

I do wish I had someone to talk to though.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Many happy returns of the day to Marit Larsen.