Life After Beth (2014)

Ostensibly, this is a movie about a boy who misses his girlfriend. He's delighted when she seems to come back from the grave, but that is when things take a turn for the zombie. I like zombie movies in general, but I think they may have jumped the shark. At this point, people are making whatever damn movie they want if they just toss a bit of zombie action in. The genre may have to go on the back burner for a little while.

I like Aubry Plaza. I think she's a good actress for these kinds of parts where she plays a disaffected and sarcastic youth who doesn't really have direction or motivation beyond primal urges. In this movie,  she does a pretty good job when she inevitably degenerates into a flesh eater. She's not the problem with the movie.

Dane DeHaan is the boyfriend who is supposed to be the protagonist. He doesn't really have much of an emotional range, and he doesn't need to do a whole lot in this role. I remember him in the remake of Funny Games, and he was a pretty good evil dude. He is a bit whiny, generally speaking, but he's not the problem with this movie, either.

In fact, none of the actors are the problem with this movie. They have a good supporting cast including John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines and Paul Reiser. Everyone does a pretty good job of acting - even in these small roles. All of the actors did well aside from their choice of scripts. This movies suffers from a lack of good script.

The pacing of the movie is off, and the general tone is just not right. It wants to be a dry comedy like Shaun of the Dead, but it is nowhere near the awesomeness of that movie. It has more of the strange and unsettling feel of the movie Fido where zombies rise and are trained to fill in roles in society where they can do some good. Like that movie, this is more of a curiosity than an enjoyable time watching movies.

This movie tries to be more like Warm Bodies, but the opposite. In that movie, the hero is a zombie who falls in love with a human girl and slowly turns more human. In this movie, the girl is slowly turning zombie. Unfortunately, Warm Bodies was a much better movie all around than this one.

Story was weak
Dialogue was weak
Acting was very good
Direction was okay
Effects were good

Bottom Line: Not as good as it needed to be.



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