Here’s a movie that’s flown under most people’s radars, which is a little odd considering the players involved. After.Life is one of those promising-sounding, unusual premises that has quality actors, a first-time director, and will ultimately live or die on the strength of the story. Alas, there is no trailer yet, but the poster is down below.
Here’s IMDB’s synopsis:
After a horrific car accident, Anna (Christina Ricci) wakes up to find the local funeral director Eliot Deacon (Liam Neeson) preparing her body for her funeral. Confused, terrified, and feeling still very much alive, Anna doesnt believe shes dead, despite the funeral director’s reassurances that she is merely in transition to the afterlife. Eliot convinces her he has the ability to communicate with the dead and is the only one who can help her. Trapped inside the funeral home, with nobody to turn to except Eliot, Anna is forced to face her deepest fears and accept her own death. But Anna’s grief-stricken boyfriend Paul (Justin Long) still can’t shake the nagging suspicion that Eliot isnt what he appears to be. As the funeral nears, Paul gets closer to unlocking the disturbing truth, but it could be too late; Anna may have already begun to cross over to the other side.
Now, Neeson is Neeson. People love the guy, even when he’s in shit movies. Taken ended up being something of an underground blockbuster based on his performance alone. Justin Long is… well, kind of annoying, but I can’t help but find him a little charming, and I think there’s a decent actor hiding in all of that nerdboy shuffling and stammering. Christina Ricci, on the other hand… That’s the x-factor, which is dangerous considering she’s the co-star. Other than the ridiculously twee but still quite decent Penelope, she’s been in some poor to downright horrible movies. Her resume is littered with disasters and it’s been a long time since she’s knocked one out of the park. So far, the only buzz about her for this film is that she’s naked. A lot. And while I’m certainly not opposed to that, I’m hoping that Ricci can bring some power to what is likely to be a challenging role.
After.Life is directed by Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo, whose name is a goddamn mouthful and who has never directed a full-length film before. Her short film Pâté did very well at Sundance and some of the other festivals, but that was in 2001 (if you can track it down, I highly recommend it. It’s a pretty fascinating 11 minutes and features some dazzling costume design).
In any event, here’s the poster, courtesy of the lads at Bloody Disgusting (via MTV):
Afterlife will be released by Anchor Bay in theaters in April.