After.Life is a terrific and bleak tale and one of the more unique horror movies that I have recently seen.
It centres around the character of Anna (Christina Ricci) who has a car accident and awakes on a slab, with creepy Funeral Director Eliot Deacon (Liam Neeson), preparing her body for her funeral. Seems she is dead but does not realise it, and he has a ‘gift’ that allows him to talk to the dead… Or is she being held prisoner by a psychopath? And will her boyfriend Paul (Justin Long) discover the truth in time?
Liam Neeson and a Christina Ricci who is totally or partially naked most of the time, provide solid, top-notch performances. Neeson is convincing as the mortician in a subtle performance. He’s creepy and cold, although not given a back story, his character has many layers. The tension between Neeson and Ricci is note-worthy and create some great moments.
The ambiguous story provided leads to the viewer to decide whether Anna is dead or alive but the conclusion is actually open to interpretation which is supported by an intelligent and original screenplay, tight direction and awesome music score. The atmosphere is melancholic, partly helped along by the use of dark colours contrasted by the red of blood, hair dye and dress.
For an indie film, it is very ambitious and very well made. It created a creepy atmosphere.