After Hours is a film of pure style. The whole point of the film is to give the viewers a tightly wound thrill ride that while watching, are never allowed to breathe. This is made clear by the fact that the plot is essentially a classic "one damned thing leads to another". This film also employs insert shots of keys, photos, door knobs and other objects all to add to the sense of heightened tension.
Scorsese guides Griffin Dunne's Paul into some semi-circle of hell...or at least Soho with this comedic dark gem. The grime of early 80's New York practically drips off the screen as we follow the character's descent into a nightmare of his own making. Scorsese made this one during a dark time in his own career and by embracing that darkness etched another film to remember.
I've seen this quite a few times now and there is something which doesn't quite coalesce for me in this film. It's like an unsettling feeling of arbitrariness, which I think could also make others love it. I will say however that this might boast my favourite mise en scene (sorry for saying that) of any Scorsese. It's playful, disarming and genuinely mysterious. For that alone this is worth watching.