This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. A review of the unedited version would likely be even more negative. All thoughts below should be addressed as such.
Now this film is definitely one of those terrible ones that will make you want to take a nap. It’s not so much that the film is boring, but that it is just terrible with a really bad ending and characters who don’t have much common sense. There are few things as bad as having an ending where a crazed mass murderer ends up getting the better of the heroes and the police, but this film also makes sure to add in the fact that this guy is just going to keep on murdering people and now he can do it with a kid who he is grooming up to be the next generation’s version of him.
Do you know what the “best” part of this whole thing is? The fact that the poster takes away any question of whether the plot is real or not. To understand this, lets get into the premise. A girl gets into a car crash after storming away from her boy friend. She wakes up in the morgue, where a guy tells her that she is dead. He claims that she simply doesn’t know it yet and that he can talk to dead people. He lets her know that she can’t leave the building though…..and keeps her drugged so she doesn’t recover her strength. Anna starts to consider the fact that she might be dead. If she is…then shouldn’t she accept her second death to make the first one move on?
So, part of the mystery is whether she is alive or not. Well, the poster basically clears that up before the mystery even starts. It shows the reasoning that the main villain has and why he destroys people. He targets those individuals who he believes have already lost the will to live. He believes that they don’t deserve to live anymore as they will drag others down and so he targets them. He kidnaps them and convinces the world that they are dead. There’s no real question by the end that Anna is actually alive, but if you’ve seen the poster then you know this from the start. That being said, you’ll probably realize this right from the beginning anyway since this is the most logical way for the film to play out. Especially if you know that this film is an indie production, which always goes for extra grit.
None of the characters are likable either. Anna gets into the mess in the first place because she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. She’s in a really bad mood for the whole film. I forgot why, but as a result she constantly gets upset with her boyfriend and even runs out during their dinner for no acceptable reason. She wouldn’t even let the guy defend himself. Then, once she’s told that she is dead, Anna makes all of the wrong decisions. She could have escaped by jumping out the window and she even had a chance to stab Eliot. There were so many moves that she could have made, but instead she decided to just start believing him. Also, shouldn’t it be obvious to her that she is alive if she can throw things around and make a mess of the room to the point where Eliot noticed? Common sense guys…..it’s time to use it!
Paul isn’t much better. He makes a little more of an effort for the two of them to be together, but ultimately he turns into a bad character. He doesn’t make a terribly good effort to find Anna once he finds out that she may be alive. Instead, he even backhands a kid and is taken away. Then, he is very easily bumped off after he falls for Eliot’s trap. Seriously, he played all of his cards wrong. Naturally, I didn’t like ELiot either. He’s just another deranged mass murderer that tries to be deep and insightful, but it just full of hot air. The kid is a terrible character either as he turns into a psychotic murderer without a whole lot of convincing. He was just a bad kid from the start.
Aside from the terrible ending where the murderers are going to just claim more and more victims, the film falls into a lot of other holes as well. We have animal violence, as a kid murders a bird and we also have unnecessary fan service with the generic shower scene popping back up. The film never even tried to be classy. From the start you could tell that this was going to be a bad film, you just couldn’t guess just how bad it would be. A lot of times, the film didn’t even know what was going on.
Anna was apparently sick with something since she got a nosebleed at one point. I suppose this is meant to account for why she was in a bad mood, but it’s not explained at all and isn’t a really good reason either. The lights all going out in the school is another random moment that makes no sense. The kid couldn’t move fast enough to pull that trick out and it’s a crazy supernatural moment that doesn’t mean anything. It’s just another way for the film to try and give Anna some extra suspense.
Overall, After.Life is a terrible film and it’s the latest entrant into the 0 stars category. It’s just hard to get much worse than this film as it’s a major chore to watch and has a really bad ending. A bad ending can hurt a good film, imagine how much it hurts a bad one. I don’t think people want to see a mass murderer get away scot-free and strengthen his position. It’s just in bad taste. I highly recommend avoiding this film as much as possible. There’s nothing redeemable about the film, whether it be the characters, messages, or writing. You’re better off watching just about anything else. After all, if the film’s poster can spoil the answer to the film’s question before you even start watching it….then is there even a point to this whole thing? I don’t think so.