Plodding After.Life Is DOA

Even naked Christina Ricci can't save ambiguous horror flick
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2010 11:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – Critics are absolutely burying After.Life, a dull horror flick about a woman who may be dead. And no, the stupid dot in the title is never explained. Here’s what they’re saying:

  • What seems like it ought to be a vaguely silly movie “takes itself so seriously it’s practically embalmed,” writes Stephen Whitty of the Star-Ledger. Liam Neeson in particular “seems to have convinced himself that he’s in some rare, rediscovered Beckett play—Krapp’s Last Autopsy.”

  • Is Christina Ricci's character dead or alive? You can debate it endlessly, writes Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I think the correct solution is: Anna is a character in a horror film that leaves her state deliberately ambiguous.”
  • The movie’s “neither horrific enough to scare, nor psychologically thrilling enough to even register a pulse,” writes Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times. At one point, Anna wonders aloud if she’s in hell. “It’s tempting to scream, ‘Yes, Anna, and you’re not alone.’”
  • But if nothing else, give Ricci credit, writes Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly. “She has to operate, unfazed, in close-up nakedness much of the time, while the camera practically licks her pale skin.”

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