After-Life


Viewed – 08 November 2010  Blu-ray

Christina Ricci will always be remembered for her star-making turn as Wednesday Addams in the Addams Family movies, of which my favourtie was the sequel, Addams Family Values.  Few actresses can convey a creepy, gothic sensibility whilst still remaining likable, and with this horror thriller she comes into her own as a woman who after an argument with her boyfriend, drives away in her car during a rainstorm and is involved in a car crash.  Waking up on a mortuary slab, she meets charismatic mortuary attendant Liam Neeson, who tries to convince her she is dead and that he must now prepared her for her funeral.

This dark, somewhat tongue-in-cheek tale is full of startling imagery, impressive use of sound, lighting and set design, and a lead actress who makes for a beautiful corpse.  Ricci, mostly scantily clad throughout, and for large portions completely naked, offers up a brave and creepy performance that is only outshined by Neeson’s disturbing mortuary attendant.  The movie mixes dream sequences with real-life turmoil and exposes the very eerie reality of death, but never allows the viewer to come to any concrete conclusion, with an ending that will more than likely leave you baffled and amazed.  This is a damn clever movie and can be appreciated on several levels.  The director is clearly in love with the unique look of Ricci and almost every scene is a showcase for her beauty and obvious acting talent.  Justin Long as her boyfriend offers a similar turn to that of his helpless boyfriend character in Drag Me To Hell, but remains very watchable none the less.

An imaginative and devious little horror that for once doesn’t treat the audience as dumb.  An easy recommendation.

Verdict:  4 /5