February 2, 2016 AfterDeath (Movie Review)
Many Horror movies deal with the undead, rather than focusing on those who have just died. However, released on October 19th, 2015 in the UK, latest Horror movie AfterDeath, also known as Po śmierci, by Acheron Films, HBO Polska, and Vituhmin Productions changes that. Set in modern times, written by Andrew Ellard (Cardinal Burns TV series, The Midnight Beast TV series) and directed by Gez Medinger (Please Hold 2011 short, Brighton 2011 short) along with Robin Schmidt (Please Hold 2011 short, Brighton 2011 short), AfterDeath is by far one of the most innovative movies to date.
A young woman, Robyn (Miranda Raison: Silk TV series, 24: Live Another Day TV series), wakes up to a stormy day on the beach. A search around her reveals steaming blow holes erupting at random out of the sand, and to her horror, she has no pulse. Robyn sees a beach-style cottage in the distance, and hurries to it. Upon opening the door, she finds four other people in the same situation, Seb (Sam Keeley: The Other Side of Sleep 2011, Raw TV series), Onie (Daniella Kertesz: Ha-Emet Ha’Eroma TV Series, World War Z 2013), Patricia (Elarica Gallcher: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 2009, EastEnders TV series), and Livvy (Lorna Nickson Brown: Agatha Christie: Poirot 2013, Doctors 2014). Seb, Onie, and Livvy are engaged in a threesome, their own unusual way of dealing with the news of their death. Patricia, is a self-harmer, and is an introvert. Robyn is the only one who seems willing to give Patricia any time. Oddly, Onie disappears and reappears at random, leading Robyn to suspect she may not be dead yet.
Robyn is not content to stay in the cottage and wants to know why they are there, and how to get back home. She sets about investigating how they are connected, however, initially the others are reluctant to assist her. With the appearance of an evil apparition each time they sin, and two strange paintings, the group realize they are knocking on hell’s front door. Robyn’s relentless probing uncovers the apparitions intentions, and unlocks the common thread between them. When she combines this information with Onie’s re-appearances with an object of her father’s, and a box of vodka Seb brought with him, Robyn finds a clue that could get them home. This is complicated by in fighting between the group, and fighting the apparition. The group must uncover their deepest darkest secrets in order to find a way out, before they are stuck in hell. One by one, they each face their inner demons, but will they make it?
A tightly woven story, with a quick pace, keeps the viewer on the edge of their seats. It has enough twists and turns to keep the viewer intrigued, and enough creep factor to scare. Rather than relying on CGI and the like, After Death relies more on the good old jump out at you scare effects. The special effects by Annabel Murchie (debut film) in relation to the apparition are outstanding, as is the cinematography by Benedict Spence (Crackanory TV series, FestEvil 2014 short), which keeps pace with the action. The small cast do a fantastic job at conveying the depth of their characters without compromising the story. The viewer gets to know each of them piece by piece, and by the time the climax occurs, real empathy or ire is felt.
Filmmaker Ellard has a bright future ahead of him, and is certainly one to keep an eye out for in the future. With that said, AfterDeath must watch for all Horror fans looking for something a little different. CrypticRock gives this movie 5 out of 5 stars.