16th Oct2015

Frightfest Presents: ‘AfterDeath’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Miranda Raison, Sam Keeley, Daniella Kertesz, Elarica Gallacher, Lorna Nickson Brown | Written by Andrew Ellard | Directed by Gez Medinger, Robin Schmidt


The human race is obsessed with what happens when we die, depending on your beliefs there is heaven or hell, an afterlife or even just nothing. AfterDeath raises a few questions of where we go, and raises some thought-provoking issues about the process of moving on… When five people find themselves trapped in an abandoned beach house they soon realise they are dead. With “limbo” slowly closing in on them and a demonic shadow attacking them based on their sins, where are they bound? Heaven or Hell?

AfterDeath doesn’t push religion on you and in a way this may be a weakness. For the most part though, the characters are pretty much clued in on the fact that they are dead and will either be going to heaven or hell. The questions they must answer are just where will they be going, and what does the demon that is stalking them in the small beach house represent?

To go too deeply into it would of course be spoiling the point of the movie, but AfterDeath is an intelligent look at how broken our beliefs about death are, especially based on the Christian beliefs that some hold. We’re not meant to think about the “rules” of how to get into Heaven but it doesn’t take much pondering about it to see the weakness in the promises we are given. It’s quite a philosophical puzzle but AfterDeath handles it well.

Where I felt it was weak was in some of the “loopholes” it seems to forget, though this maybe poetic license. To keep the film flowing well, and for things to not get too deep then the form we have AfterDeath in is probably for the best. Though I’m sure some will raise a few questions once they’ve watched the film.

When it comes down to the acting the cast as a whole do a good job, especially while trapped in such an enclosed environment. There is a claustrophobic feeling in “limbo”, and not much room to manoeuvre in terms of character development. By the end of the film though we do feel we understand the characters, even pitying the nastiest of them, who may not deserve it. Through good direction, a well written script and impressive acting performances AfterDeath works well.

AfterDeath raises many questions about what happens after we die, and while it may not give a concrete answer, even in its owl little universe it gets the audience to think, and that is important to the film’s success. The little world that the film creates is fantastical but believable and the audience does buy into what is taking place in the little beach hut and that is what is important. At the end of the film we are left to ponder just what happened to the characters and what effect they actually had on the afterlife. Though we never get an answer, that may be the films real strength.

While there isn’t much gore in AfterDeath, that isn’t the style of horror that the film presents. What we are given instead is a psychological horror where it is more about the questions raised that are creepy rather than any gore we see on-screen. AfterDeath does a good job in getting under your skin, and because of this is well worth a watch.

**** 4/5

AfterDeath is released on VOD in the UK from October 19th through FrightfestPresents.co.uk. Read the rest of our Frightfest Presents reviews by clicking on the posters below:

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AfterDeath review originally posted on PisssedOffGeek

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