After.Life (2009) is a psychological horror film starring Christina Ricci, Liam Neeson, and Justin Long. Ricci plays Anna, an unhappy middle school teacher, who wakes up in a morgue with Eliot Deacon (Neeson) and is told that she died in a car accident.
At the beginning of the film, we’re introduced to Anna and Paul (Long), a couple with their fair share of problems. Paul has a hard time figuring out his girlfriend, while Anna seems to display a lack of interest in the relationship. After a fight at dinner, Anna drives home in a bad storm and ends up in a car crash.
A short time later, Anna wakes up in a funeral home and is informed by morgue director Eliot Deacon that she was killed in the accident. Eliot says he has the gift of helping the dead accept their deaths and cross over into the afterlife. At first, Anna feels fully alive and fights everything Eliot says, even trying to escape the funeral home. However, as she becomes weaker and starts to hallucinate, she starts to accept that she is dead and allows Eliot to prepare her for burial.
Meanwhile, Paul has the suspicion that Anna isn’t dead after uncovering several pieces of evidence. The physician who signed her death certificate didn’t see the body and one of her students claims to have seen her in the morgue window. Paul tries to uncover the truth before she’s buried forever.
After.Life is a movie that keeps you guessing the whole time. At some points you think Anna is actually dead, while at others you think she might very well be alive. Liam Neeson’s character is constantly throwing curveballs. He keeps a dark, monotone demeanor the whole time and it’s nearly impossible to determine whether he’s sincere in his actions or a psychopath serial killer. It’s a great performance.
After watching this film, I spent the whole next day just thinking mulling over everything in it. The themes of life and death are truly thought-provoking. Just how interconnected are the two? It’s a gutsy, story-driven movie that doesn’t rely on typical horror movie cliches. Nothing is handed to the viewer. While most movies today are dumb downed for the average audience, this one requires some thought and interaction.
After.Life is a smart and intriguing thriller that will make you question life as you know it.
Directed by Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo
Screenplay by Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo, Paul Vosloo, and Jakub Korolczuk
Starring Christina Ricci, Liam Neeson, and Justin Long