25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: After.Life [DVD]  (DVD)
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This film looked like an intriguing one. Anna (Christina Ricci) 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 thruth in time?
Veering from interesting Philosophy to run-of-the-mill horror thriller, this film never seems to quite hit the mark on either score. Neeson's performance is suitably underplayed, adding a real air of menace to his character, but Christina Ricci's character is unlikeably neurotic from the start, which means we never really care enough about what is happening to her, and her actions throughout the film vary from being battling survivor to depressingly resigned to her fate. The fact that she is naked throughout a great portion of the film matters little. As she is filmed in a cold blue light that makes her look, indeed, like a corpse, suggests to me that this is less exploitation and more an attempt to portray her vulnerability to Neeson's controlling character...Or is it just an excuse to get her clothes off? (You decide...!)
The film is more interesting when exploring the themes of life and death, suggesting that some people are more scared of living than of dying, and are therefore more dead than alive anyway. But all of this is shelved in an attempt to become yet another Horror/Thriller vehicle, whilst failing to really scare or grip the audience. Shame really, as Neeson's character has the potential to become a truly chilling horror villain....
A wasted opportunity then, and although the film is adequately performed and has a good central premise, I rate it just average for thrills. It did keep me guessing for much of the movie, and Neeson turns in his usual polished performance, so I award it 3 stars...