When are the dead in fact dead? In its pleasure at simultaneously embracing and sending up horror genre conventions, AFTER.LIFE suggests that the line between the living and the dead is thin indeed. Christina Ricci and Justin Long (fast earning a reputation as the busiest man in American movies) play a sophisticated couple on the emotional razor’s edge: Paul wants to tie the knot, while Anna is hardly ready for the leap. What neither count on is the sudden presence in their lives of Liam Neeson’s undertaker, Eliot, who claims to have a gift of talking with the dead. The truth of the matter is something that first-time feature director Agnieska Wojtowicz-Vosloo—fresh off her acclaimed short, PATE—enjoys toying with. But the most fun is watching Neeson discovering fresh variations on a ghoulish role of the kind that was once the province of Vincent Price. —AFI Film Festival
Good little chiller with Ricci and Neeson both giving quite effective genre performances. Ricci always quite good in the gothic vein. Long however is seriously miscast here. Script runs out of steam eventually but first half quite interesting. Well shot by dp Michos who has an able eye for colour and desaturation. Ricci's red negligee almost a character onto itself.