FrightFest Presents VOD film review: AfterDeath
Leslie Byron Pitt | On 22, Oct 2015
Directors: Gez Medinger, Robin Schmidt
Watch AfterDeath online in the UK: Apple TV (iTunes) / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / TalkTalk TV / Virgin Movies / TalkTalk / Eircom / Volta / Xbox / Sky Store / Rakuten TV / Google Play / TheHorrorShow.tv
After being mysteriously washed up by the tide and seeking refuge inside an abandoned beach house, five strangers find themselves at odds not only with each other but with hellishly painful blasts of light and diabolical smoke demons. The latter is holding the key to why they the group have found themselves thrown together in the first place.
After an appropriately disorienting beach shore opening, the debut feature from directors Gez Medinger and Robin Schmidt struggles to make any solid impact, despite some provocative ideas. Andrew Ellard’s script neatly eschews certain conventions and delivers a story that firmly places women at the heart of its agency. The strongest aspect of the film’s narrative is combining the subject of rape with religious doctrine.
The script’s distinctly British tone is also welcoming, which makes the failings of the film feel all the more unfortunate. AfterDeath’s first person opening holds that “round the corner” creepiness, but it’s a pity the rest of the film does little to give the viewer the proverbial willies. Its murky, blue tinted visuals do little to disturb, while the computer effects are satisfactory, but never truly threatening.
AfterDeath also suffers from transparent revelations which can be judged and guessed before the characters get the memo; it projects some of its key discoveries early, while the cast seem to suddenly acquire plot knowledge unnaturally in order to push the story forward. The performers are spirited and yet seem so resigned to their fate from the start that it’s difficult to feel invested in the stakes at play, even in a film that features a demonic cloud debaucher; that such bizarre imagery does little to inspire fear, worry or any real care shows just how lukewarm this chiller actually is. When the choice comes to picking a Friday night fright. It’s difficult to see why AfterDeath would be considered over the usual classics.
AfterDeath is one of the first films released on VOD through Icon and FrightFest’s new digital banner, FrightFest Presents. For more information on the other titles available from Monday 19th October, click here – or keep up to speed with our FrightFest Presents Week.