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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Movie Review: Life After Beth

How do you end a relationship when your girlfriend is dying to keep it going? In July 2014, Zach learned all good things must come to an end, and if they come back... end it again.

Directing this 89 minute comedy/horror/romance is Jeff Baena.

Dane DeHaan as Zach Orfman, Aubrey Plaza as Beth Slocum, John C. Reilly as Maury Slocum, Molly Shannon as Geenie Slocum, Paul Reiser as Noah Orfman, Cheryl Hines as Judy Orfman, Matthew Gray Gubler as Kyle Orfman and Anna Kendrick as Erica Wexler.

Grieving over the recent loss of a loved one is what Zach, Maury and Molly are doing right now. Without warning, Maury and Molly lost their daughter Beth, and Zach his girlfriend. Luckily, they won't have to miss
her for very long, because Beth is back... only she doesn't seem to notice anything ever happened. Zach knows something is wrong with this situation, but he's just happy to have her back. That is, until things start to get strange-r the longer she's back, and it looks like Beth isn't the only one that didn't want to stay dead.

Writer/director Jeff Baena came up with a interesting storyline for an almost (nowadays anyways) common subject... zombies. Now, this isn't your typical messy zombies consuming the world kind of flick. It focuses more on the young lovers side of things, and even more so Zach's trip down this twisted road. It's also not a mindless crowd feasting for flesh after death. I liked that twist about the story, because the zombie's are aware, but not at the same time. 

Between the the cast performance and the good script writing, the playthrough held my attention pretty good. The awkward young lover thing keeps it going at a kind of rocky pace, almost like real life. Right as things are flowing smooth, (as is life) there's always something that happens to mess things up. So there's a constant up and down flow going on, but it really works for this one.
                                       


The special effects looked good for the most part, and the job they did on Beth looked nice. Now, I didn't really care for how they did the older zombies, because they went with the just paint someone grey route. Luckily, you don't get too many of those. Actually, you don't get a lot of zombies in this one at all. I'd say a handful at best. I kind of liked how they got around the chaos part of the movie. You still have the screaming, fires etc. without the hoard of flesh eaters, and they pulled it off nicely thanks to the good camera work done by Jay Hunter.

The cast does a great job, and the star line up was totally unexpected. First off, I don't even remember the last time I saw Reiser in a flick, so it was cool seeing him again. Now, even with all the "big" name cast members, I liked that the focus still went to both DeHaan and Plaza, who by the way did an amazing job carrying their share of the performance. Another stand out job was by Gubler who's character was funny because I'm used to watching his more serious role on the Criminal Minds television show, so this was a cool change from my norm.

Overall, this isn't a serious zombie flick, nor is it a scary messy survival film. It's just a fun watch on love and learning when to let go... especially before you get bit. It's worth the time to check out. 

It's rated R for violence, language and nudity.

3 stars

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