Plot: What’s it about?
Anna (Christina Ricci) has just stormed out of a dinner with her boyfriend Paul (Justin Long), thanks to a misunderstanding that blossomed out of control. Paul intended to propose to her, but before he could, she snapped at him and ran out to her car, driving off in a rush. Her reckless retreat would cause her to have a severe accident, from which she wakes up on an embalming table. Eliot (Liam Neeson) is the funeral director and he assures Anna that she is dead and as such, to make peace for the journey ahead. She refuses to believe him, despite some evidence that no one else can see or hear here, except for Eliot. At the same time, Paul is determined to see Anna’s body and begins to suspect Eliot is not what he seems. As Anna inches closer and closer to her own burial, is she truly dead or is Eliot a darker presence than he lets on?
This movie has some good elements and some bad elements. On the good side, Christina Ricca is naked for a good portion of the duration, but on the bad side, the movie isn’t that good. Liam Neeson tries to lend some credibility to the script, but it is just too indecisive to be worthwhile. I have no problem with open ended stories, but After.Life tries to have the best of all worlds and it winds up worse for that path. A little more focus and some commitment to a direction could have worked wonders, but as it stands, After.Life doesn’t resonate after the final credits. As I said, Neeson turns in an admirable performance and Ricci’s work as a naked corpse is stellar, while Justin Long stumbles over even the simplest of lines here. The premise has some promise and some scenes do work, I just wish it had more vision instead of potential. I still think After.Life is worth a look, but it is best suited to be a rental, as once is more than enough.
Video: How does it look?
After.Life is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. This transfer looks superb, with excellent depth and a visual presence that lets you know this is high definition. The image has fantastic detail, with even the smallest visual touches on full showcase, great stuff indeed. The colors look on the money as well, even when the film skews them a little for style reasons. No issues with contrast either, black levels are spot on. In the end, great transfer that really showcases the film’s visual design.
Audio: How does it sound?
An uncompressed PCM 5.1 option is the main audio draw and it delivers, adding just the right touches when called on. As this is a tense movie, the audio is able to ratchet up the suspense with clever atmospheric elements. This really helps the movie out, as it needs all the help it can muster. The surround use is never forced either, just natural and effective. The music sounds good and dialogue is clear as well, so no worries in this area. This disc also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 option, as well as English and Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes an informative director’s commentary track, a brief featurette, and the film’s theatrical trailer.