LIFE AFTER BETH
Finding Closure in All the Wrong Places
Release Date: August 15, 2014
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan,
Anna Kendrick, Molly Shannon,
Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser,
Matthew Gray Gubler, John C.
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 91 minutes
Distributor: A24 Films
Director: Jeff Baena
Executive Producer: Wendy Benge, Charles Sauveur
Kivowitz, Kim Leadford, Daniel
McCarney, Tim Nye, Brent
Stillwell, Brian Young
Producer: Elizabeth Destro and Michael
Writer: Jeff Baena
Address Comments To:David Fenkel
601 West 26th Street, Suite 1740
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (646) 568-6015; Website: www.a24films.com
Shortly after Beth’s funeral, Zach’s recently deceased girlfriend mysteriously returns from the dead and shows up at her parents’ home. Her parents try to hide her from the outside world, including Zach.
At first, Zack adamantly believes that his girlfriend’s parents played a sick joke on him by fabricating her death and funeral, but discovers she dug herself from her grave. He believes Beth has the right to know that she’s deceased and be informed of how she died. However, Beth’s father pleads with him not tell her and to make a promise that he won’t tell her. Zach agrees and decides to rekindle his courtship with Beth.
During his attempts at reigniting his relationship with Beth, he gradually discovers she’s different and not the way he remembered her. To his disappointment, there is one problem: Beth is a violent, human-eating zombie. Zach now faces a very tough decision about his future with Beth.
Romanticism is undisputedly the dominant worldview in LIFE AFTER BETH. The concepts of Romanticism are fully reflected in the protagonist, Zach. Zach is fully aware that the logical thing to do is to end his relationship with his zombie girlfriend, Beth. Instead, he irrationally decides to proceed with his romantic relationship because he’s still madly in love with her. Eventually, he finally accepts that the right thing to do is to let her go, despite how difficult it might be.
Just as LIFE AFTER BETH fails at presenting Christian and biblical worldview, it also completely fails artistically. The one poor quality of LIFE AFTER BETH is the storyline and plot, the most important aspect of a movie. Aside from that, the acting and cinematography are good.
The story in LIFE AFTER BETH is undoubtedly horrible and distasteful. The movie’s story doesn’t contain a powerful, deeper meaning, but rather a surface-level one. This fact will cause the viewing audience to become disinterested in and bored with the movie. Moviegoers do not simply watch a movie for entertainment purposes, but they also desire to have a meaningful connection with a movie and be changed by it. This movie definitely fails at its attempts to do that.
The meaningless story in LIFE AFTER BETH will also cause it to become an unmemorable, forgotten movie. At the most basic level, the story has the potential to be a profound, heartfelt story. This could have been achieved if the filmmakers would have incorporated scenes containing biblical, or at least redemptive, elements, instead of several scenes of repulsive sexual immorality. It seemed like the writer and director just wanted to fill the void of time in order to have a feature length movie. They failed to create meaningful scenes that would drive and help communicate the idea of “sometimes when you love someone, you have let them go.” LIFE AFTER BETH is technically considered a comedy, and there are funny scenes in it, but for the most part, it plays more like a drama, so viewers might expect the story to be more meaningful or profound.
Despite its unpleasant storyline, LIFE AFTER BETH has fairly good acting and cinematography. The acting performance by the actors, especially that of Dane DeHaan, who plays Zach, helps the audience connect and relate with the character on a deeper and profound level. Viewers may feel the emotional pain that Zach was feeling because of DeHaan’s fine performance. The adult audience will have compassion for Zach because they most likely have dealt with pain, love, the hardships of relationships, and the loss of a love one.
The cinematography in LIFE AFTER BETH is also fairly good. There are several really well shot scenes that contribute to the overall mood of the movie. For example, at the beginning of the movie, the scene when Beth is hiking on her own and enjoying herself is shot in slow motion and then immediately cuts to the scene of her funeral. The slow motion is done for the audience to understand her happiness. Of course, death is inevitable, and it may occur at an unexpected time, including during moments of happiness.
Overall, LIFE AFTER BETH is an unpleasant, abhorrent movie with a strong Non-Christian Romantic worldview containing a lot of foul language and strong lewd content.
LIFE AFTER BETH is very unpleasant and distasteful to watch. Despite some good acting and cinematography, the story is very weak and fails to engage viewers with a powerful, inspiring meaning. In fact, the movie has a strong Non-Christian Romantic worldview with a few irreverent jokes about Jesus and His resurrection. There’s also a lot of foul language, strong lewd content and brief nudity. LIFE AFTER BETH probably will turn off most moviegoers, and media-wise will be offended by it to the very end.